Monthly Archives: June 2016

Why States Should Resist Assisted Suicide


By Jay Evensen

My father’s final days did not fit any textbook definition of a quality life. He suffered from the advanced stages of dementia. He didn’t know who I was. In a rare moment when he seemed somewhat lucid, I asked him if he was scared. The look in his eyes as he nodded still brings tears to my eyes.

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Doctors Should Save Lives, Not End Them Through Assisted Suicide

Trib Live

Source: Tribune-Review, Letter to the Editor

Regarding Christina Thomas’ letter “Legalize physician-aided suicide” : Killing patients has never been a part of the ethical framework of the medical profession going back to the Hippocratic Oath. It has no place in either civilized society or the medical profession as it often targets those who are sick and disabled, those very persons society should be committed to compassionately assisting. Often one hears the reason for allowing this barbaric practice is excruciating untreatable pain that candidates for assisted suicide must endure. This is myth-making on the part of advocates. Doctors are capable of treating pain effectively.

The disability community is very concerned about this push to legalize the practice of killing patients. The advocacy group Not Dead Yet reminds us that many disabled persons live very meaningful and useful lives. Consider the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking who has lived with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) for over 50 years. Also, in some European countries where euthanasia is legal, individuals have been euthanized by their own requests not for terminal illlnesses but because of grief over the death of a loved one, depression and nonterminal illnesses.

Sadly, some will always find a way to commit suicide. Why would Pennsylvanians want their doctors, those responsible for their healing and comfort, to be co-opted to become their killers? Thomas’ own professional organization, the American Nursing Association, opposes this practice.

Dr. Ralph A. Capone


The writer is a physician board-certified in hospice and palliative care and a bioethics instructor at St. Vincent College.

Instead of Assisted Suicide, Let’s Help the Vulnerable

Montreal Gazette

Source: Montreal Gazette

By: Asher Jacobson

A flora of terminology is being used to convince the public that assisted suicide is indeed a righteous act, with fancy and empathetic phrases, such as death with dignity and compassionate death. What we don’t seem to realize are the terrible ramifications that this law will have on our society as a whole — and the way we treat the most vulnerable among us.

In my 20 years of comforting the ill, I have learned that when a patient says something as severe as “I want to die,” they don’t always mean it literally: It just rips them apart knowing that they have become a burden to their family and society.

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