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Should Physician Assisted Suicide be legal?

 
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 10:54 am
is it odd that I believe Phoenix could, and would, do the surgery?
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 11:02 am
Laughing
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 01:55 pm
Heeven wrote:
I say No. That's an enormous responsibility to put on the doctor. If a patient wishes to die and commits suicide, that is one thing. It is quite another to expect a medical professionals assistance.

Also, consider if the doctor was totally against this and if law was passed that he MUST do it if the patient expressly requested it, what then? Violate his own beliefs? Get another doctor who has no knowledge of the patient?


Physicians take an oath, "To do no harm". I believe this means, they have taken an oath to prolong life, for as long as God has ordained, and not to terminate another's life. Thus, under no circumstances, should a physician take part in a patient's suicide.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 02:02 pm
New Haven

That's excactly (taken the religious part out!), what physican associations are proclaiming here.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 02:14 pm
[quote="New Haven]Physicians take an oath, "To do no harm". I believe this means, they have taken an oath to prolong life, for as long as God has ordained, and not to terminate another's life. Thus, under no circumstances, should a physician take part in a patient's suicide.[/quote]


God???

For as long as God has ordained?

And what makes you suppose that helping a person end suffering constitutes "doing harm?"
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 02:50 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
[quote="New Haven]Physicians take an oath, "To do no harm". I believe this means, they have taken an oath to prolong life, for as long as God has ordained, and not to terminate another's life. Thus, under no circumstances, should a physician take part in a patient's suicide.



God???

For as long as God has ordained?

And what makes you suppose that helping a person end suffering constitutes "doing harm?"[/quote]


Frank:
What's being ended is the patient's life via physician intervention
.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 06:26 pm
New Haven
What life? Any physician who prolongs a persons life to give that person more time just to suffer isn't doing them any favors. My best friend just recently died of breast cancer and what she went through was agonizing pain and suffering. The doctors may have given her an extra year to live with all their surgeries, chemo, and radiation, but the quality of her life consisted of constant brutal pain and throwing up. She told me that she had saved a bunch of the pain killers she was on and when the pain got so bad that she couldn't take it anymore, she was going to go to the beach near her house on the Cape and go in peace. She liked the idea, but along came some social workers who convinced her to go into hospice and she would die peacefully there. Well, they lied to her and she slowly suffocated to death which took weeks of her losing more and more of her breath every day. She wanted to die, but no one would let her. I just wish I was there with her, because I would have made sure she able to get to the beach. People who have never experienced that kind of pain can only imagine what it's like. My very best friend of 25 years told me everything she was feeling for the whole time the cancer was eating her alive and I wouldn't wish that kind of suffering upon my worst enemy!
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 06:35 pm
Well said, montana. There is a time to live, a time to die, as the Bible says.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 06:45 pm
Thank you Edgar and I agree that there is a time to die. I also agree with what you said earlier about making sure that the process is not abused if it is ever to be made legal.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 06:55 pm
I haven't the slightest notion of ever doing it myself, but, I would want the right to, just in case.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 May, 2003 06:58 pm
Same here.
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Heeven
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 07:45 am
Yes but should the responsibility be placed in the hands of the doctor, is what I am asking? I agree that a person has the right to die if they wish it and who best to know the situation than a doctor, but I still believe they should not be forced to have to provide that service to anyone.

It is one thing if the doctor is completely convinced it is the best thing and there is no hope and nothing but suffering for the person, it is quite another for them to have to plunge the needle in or prescribe the pills that will end the life of that person. While many doctors do agree to such a thing and would be more than willing to do it to end a patients horrendous suffering, is it fair for all doctors to be expected to provide this service for any patient of theirs whose situation were to require this? There are many many people out there who could absolutely not take a life, even if they realized that it would prevent horrible suffering.

Are we to have doctors take a new hippocratic oath, deleting the section that says "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect"?

And what about the family of this person? What about lawsuits against the doctor, who only did as the patient wished? It is fine and good saying we will make such a lawsuit ineligible but we all know in this highly litigious society there are ways around these exemptions and this will only help to increase medical malpractice insurance for our good doctors.

In a perfect world they dying would have their wishes respected, by families, friends, society and medical professionals. This is not a perfect world and never will be. Should I ever have need of such a thing, I would never ask another human being to take responsibility for it.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 08:11 am
I think the arguments that deal with "forcing a doctor to do this" are specious.

There is absolutely no chance anything will be written into law REQUIRING a physician to participate in an assisted suicide.

Anyone can ask their physician up-front if he/she will be a provider of assistance -- and if the answer is NO -- and a YES is wanted, the patient can change doctors long before the need for physician assistance is needed.

The Hippocratic oath is another argument that is questionable. The oath already places obligations on physicians that are regularly disregarded -- like the promise to provide free instruction in the art.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 May, 2003 08:37 am
Heeven
I hear what you're saying and I'm not saying that doctors should be forced to do this. I'm saying that it should be made legal for doctors who are willing. I'm sure there are many doctors out there who would be more than happy to help a person end their suffering and as Frank said " the patient can change doctors long before the need for physician assistance is needed. " I would in no way condone a law that would make anyone have to take a persons life.
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