Category Archives: physician-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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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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Star Tribune: Assisted Suicide is an Idea That Loses Appeal as It Becomes Tangible

Source: Star-Tribune

By: Charles Camosy

March 15, 2016

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate’s Health, Human Services and Housing Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on a measure called the Minnesota Compassionate Care Act (SF 1880). This bill would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. Those patients would then have the option to ingest the drugs and kill themselves. SF 1880 is sponsored by a group of DFL legislators, led by Sen. Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center, who claims that assisted suicide enjoys “overwhelming support” from the American public.

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Washington Times: Physician-Assisted Suicide Often Results from Financial Coercion

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Source: Washington Times

– – Sunday, July 5, 2015

Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to the D.C. Council that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in our nation’s capital for an adult patient diagnosed with a terminal condition and less than six months to live. Although this initiative has been introduced in 24 states this year (not passing in any so far), its passage in the District of Columbia this year risks setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of the nation.

Self-determination and pain relief are the primary arguments by proponents of physician-assisted suicide. These principles of autonomy and beneficence are clearly important in discussions at the end of life. But can this specific piece of legislation protect those who need it the most, such as those with mental illness, and those easily subject to coercion, such as seniors? As a practicing physician for the past 25 years and based on the experience of similar practices around the world, I have serious concerns with this bill.

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