Source: Delaware Online
By: Michael DePietro
My extensive experience in dealing with dying patients leads me to oppose the legalization of assisted suicide. Legislation permitting assisted suicide is unnecessary to alleviate the distress of patients with terminal illness, and likely will precipitate harm to the sick and vulnerable.
It is important to make a distinction between physician-assisted suicide, where a doctor actively assists the patient in causing their own death, versus the commonly accepted practice of stopping or avoiding treatments that merely delay rather than reverse the dying process. The medical profession and society, including almost all religious traditions, recognize and endorse the patient’s broad legal right to decline medical treatments which are excessively burdensome and disproportionate to the potential benefits, even if doing so shortens the patient’s life.