Recently the effort to legalize physician-assisted suicide has ramped up in Virginia. For 2,500 years, medicine has claimed the role of healer, but this dangerous public policy would change that by requiring a doctor’s participation in a patient’s demise . Patients should never be conflicted about which role their physician plays.
In places where it is legal, patient-directed suicide has morphed into family-determined suicide, and then into doctor-directed suicide. The “safeguard” of a six-month-or-less prognosis has morphed into just no longer wanting to live. And the right to die seems to have become an obligation for some.
In Lynchburg where I live, we have a sad history of eugenics. Local physicians knew what was happening but never spoke out, so non-voluntary sterilizations were carried out here for years. Our state just recently voted to pay the victims reparations.