Four Myths About Doctor-Assisted Suicide –

A good opinion piece on doctor-assisted suicide, citing four myths or assumptions: reduced pain, impact of advanced technology in prolonging life, mass appeal while it is mainly the well-educated and affluent, and a good death. Concluding quote:

Instead of attempting to legalize physician-assisted suicide, we should focus our energies on what really matters: improving care for the dying — ensuring that all patients can openly talk with their physicians and families about their wishes and have access to high-quality palliative or hospice care before they suffer needless medical procedures. The appeal of physician-assisted suicide is based on a fantasy. The real goal should be a good death for all dying patients.

While I agree that the focus should be on palliative care earlier on to avoid unnecessary treatment, I also believe there is a place for assisted suicide under appropriate guidelines, as in countries like the Netherlands and Switzerland or states like Oregon have done.

Four Myths About Doctor-Assisted Suicide –


2 thoughts on “Four Myths About Doctor-Assisted Suicide –

  1. My concern, as with the NYT author, is that we take the pressure off doctors to
    emphasize quality when we give them an “out.” I would be more comfortable with death as a therapeutic alternative, if modern medicine did even a fair job of providing palliative medicine. Too often we treat to the wall and then suddenly walk away. Not acceptable. jcs

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