Publication
Title
Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia : emerging issues from a global perspective
Author
Abstract
Medical professional societies have traditionally opposed physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia (PAS-E), but this opposition may be shifting. We present 5 reasons why physicians shouldnt be involved in PAS-E. 1. Slippery slopes: There is evidence that safeguards in the Netherlands and Belgium are ineffective and violated, including administering lethal drugs without patient consent, absence of terminal illness, untreated psychiatric diagnoses, and nonreporting; 2. Lack of self-determination: Psychological and social motives characterize requests for PAS-E more than physical symptoms or rational choices; many requests disappear with improved symptom control and psychological support; 3. Inadequate palliative care: Better palliative care makes most patients physically comfortable. Many individuals requesting PAS-E dont want to die but to escape their suffering. Adequate treatment for depression and pain decreases the desire for death; 4. Medical professionalism: PAS-E transgresses the inviolable rule that physicians heal and palliate suffering but never intentionally inflict death; 5. Differences between means and ends: Proeuthanasia advocates look to the ends (the patients death) and say the ends justify the means; opponents disagree and believe that killing patients to relieve suffering is different from allowing natural death and is not acceptable. Conclusions: Physicians have a duty to eliminate pain and suffering, not the person with the pain and suffering. Solutions for suffering lie in improving palliative care and social conditions and addressing the reasons for PAS-E requests. They should not include changing medical practice to allow PAS-E.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of palliative care. - Montreal
Publication
Montreal : 2018
ISSN
0825-8597
Volume/pages
33:4(2018), p. 197-203
ISI
000444977500003
Pubmed ID
29852810
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 04.06.2018
Last edited 21.07.2021
To cite this reference