Hippocratic or hypocritical? The problem with doctor-assisted suicide

Hippocratic or hypocritical? The problem with doctor-assisted suicide

As Maryland lawmakers prepare to hold public hearings on whether the state should join nine others that allow terminally-ill patients to choose physician-assisted suicide, it begs a serious question with no easy answer: Is suicide wrong?

Granted, the question of the humanity of physician-assisted suicide is a complicated one. For those who have completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, which is the global gold standard for training in suicide first aid, they are asked to grapple with this question at the beginning of the training…

We do our best to discourage at-risk military combat veteranspolice officers, and firefighters, all of whom die at higher rates than their peers by age in other professions, from putting guns to their temples, hanging themselves, overdosing on medications, or jumping off bridges. One could argue they too have a terminal illness, of a different sort, that leaves them dying inside…

The suicide problem is bad enough in this country. To further codify, it is to promote it essentially. As earlier mentioned, veterans and service members die at higher rates per day on average than those who have never served in uniform.

More police officers die by their hand than in the line of duty. The suicide rate for children aged 10 to 14 had risen to more than twice the homicide rate in that age group.

To combat these trends, we encourage these human beings to get support, seek treatment, reach out, and call someone when faced with a crisis…

But this should also be the case where illnesses are involved, even terrible illnesses that no human being should have to endure. When they do, however, it’s not the place of a doctor or system of care to help end that life — and get paid to do it.

Instead, find more cures. Develop more effective treatments. Enact better policies. No one who claims to be a healer should offer death as if it’s an entree on a menu of options to choose from, depending on how one feels at the moment…

Read the full story at The Hill….