Skip to comments.Physician-assisted suicide poisons the mission of medicine
Posted on 09/02/2012 10:33:42 AM PDT by wagglebee
Recent events suggest that the assisted-suicide movement has gained momentum; reports from the Royal Society of Canada, the Quebec National Assembly and the British Columbia Supreme Court all support legalization of physician- assisted suicide. But the case is not closed.
Confusion reigns. Doctors opposed to physician-assisted suicide are sometimes labelled as paternalistic, disrespectful of patients autonomy and blind to certain aspects of human dignity. These are inaccurate and offensive descriptions of who we are and what we do in the sick room.
The public must be reassured that the needs of dying patients can be met within current legislation and practices. It must realize that we are able to have conversations about halting futile life-supporting interventions; we are able to unplug ventilators and be a compassionate witness to death; we are able to relieve physical and emotional suffering with an increasingly sophisticated array of medications, up to and including progressive terminal sedation. All the while, we are not ready to act upon requested death.
What is it about euthanasia and assisted-suicide that frightens doctors?
Madam Justice Lynn Smith, of the B.C. Supreme Court attempts to assuage our concerns by suggesting that it would be a matter of a few isolated cases and that safeguards have been proven effective in other jurisdictions. These predictions are highly debatable. Even if this wishful thinking were correct, it misses the point.
Our angst is not limited to cases of assisted-suicide. It is rather that engaging in it alters the mission of medicine. It strikes at the very core of our beings as healers. It would leave an indelible imprint on dialogues with all patients. Our worry is anchored in the deep recognition of the vulnerability of sick persons and the power differential that exists in the doctor-patient relationship.
(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...
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I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
ressponse to headline:
Allowing doctors to administer euthanasia will INEVITABLY lead to doctors being told by insurers and Medicare bureaucrats to PUSH euthanasia on patients whose treatment would be expensive.
Written 400 B.C.E
Translated by Francis Adams
I SWEAR by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation- to reckon him who taught me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him, and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they shall wish to learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons, and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.
*** I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.
With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!
MODERN VERSION IS DIFFERENT! COMPARE!
I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.
One version I saw removes the abortion clause and says that the DR will not perform any ILLEGAL OPERATION.