Category Archives: Assisted Suicide

Honolulu Civil Beat: 5 Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide

Hospital bed assisted suicide

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat

By: Dr. Glenn M.L. Pang

I read your proposal that the Legislature push physician-assisted suicide and would like to share five reasons that I, as a long-time Honolulu physician, believe doing so would ultimately bring regret to Hawaii.

No. 1

The Supreme Court has asserted that “the asserted ‘right’ to assistance in committing suicide is not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the due process clause.” (U.S. Supreme Court Majority Opinion 6/26, 1997).

Washington v. Glucksberg, and Vacco v. Quill

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Duluth News Tribune: Doctor Says Legalizing Assisted Suicide Undermines Health Care


By Steven C. Bergeson on December 21, 2016

Assisted suicide is picking up steam. Colorado and Washington, D.C., legalized the practice this fall, joining four other states where it already was legally permissible for physicians to prescribe lethal dosages to eligible patients.

Assisted suicide’s next stop? It could be Minnesota. In March, a bill to legalize the practice was introduced in our state Senate’s Health, Human Services and Housing Committee. It didn’t make it out of committee, but its proponents promised to be back.

As a doctor who has devoted my life to providing care and healing, I bristle at the possibility of practicing medicine in a state where assisting in someone’s suicide could be considered “health care.” Not only is assisted suicide not authentic health care, it actually undermines the ethical norm at the heart of the medical profession — the Hippocratic oath, which transformed medicine into an art of healing, dedicated to caring about the patient’s interests rather than the interests of others. Everyone knows doctors are taught to “first do no harm.”

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Star-Tribune: Legalizing Assisted Suicide No Answer for People with Disabilities Like Me


Source: Star-Tribune 

By Jean Swenson

“I’d rather be dead than disabled.”

I remember feeling that way several months before I became severely disabled. In 1980, I had taken a group of teenage girls to see a young quadriplegic named Joni Eareckson Tada, who painted beautifully by holding a paintbrush in her mouth. Though inspired by her talent, I remember telling the girls, “I could never live like that.”

A few months later my neck was broken in a car accident, and I became a quadriplegic, paralyzed below my shoulders. I would spend the next year and a half in various hospitals and rehabilitation centers, dealing with medical problems and learning to live with a spinal cord injury.

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Albuquerque Journal: Physician-Assisted Suicide Too Risky

Elderly holding hands

Source: Albuquerque Journal

By Dr. Gregg Schmedes

Amidst a surprise presidential election, our neighbors to the north have approved physician-assisted suicide, by a margin of 2-to-1. While I applaud the intention of Coloradans to relieve suffering, let’s examine what they’ve actually done.

Physician-assisted suicide allows terminally ill patents to ask a doctor to prescribe them a lethal dose of sleeping pills. The danger of physician-assisted suicide lies in the financial benefits enjoyed by those involved in somebody’s death.

For example, Stephanie Packer, a terminally ill Californian and mother of four, recently pursued chemotherapy treatment from her insurer at the request of her doctor. She was denied. Instead the insurer offered a $1.20 co-pay for a handful of life-ending pills. If physician-assisted suicide comes to New Mexico, let’s expect our hospitals and insurers to follow suit.

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Orlando Sentinel: In Doctor-Assisted Suicide Neutrality is Not an Option

Stock Photo

Source: Orlando Sentinel

By Dr. Frederick J. White

While deeply committed to effective relief of the pain and suffering of the terminally ill, the American Medical Association has long held a position that I share — that physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

But now the AMA is studying whether to retreat from that position into the mirage of moral neutrality. State medical societies in Colorado and Maryland have recently done so, abandoning authority, agency, principle and position in one fell swoop. But the wink and nod of neutrality is beneath the demands of this issue and the dignity of the medical profession.

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