The danger of assisted suicide

As a physician specializing in oncology and hematology since 1975, I am pleased that the American Medical Association (AMA), American College of Physicians, American Psychological Association and many other medical organizations have, to this point, recognized the real danger associated with assisted suicide, and hope that they continue to distinguish between assisted suicide and authentic medical care.

After two years of carefully studying the issue, the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) recommended that the AMA remain opposed to assisted suicide. For whatever reasons the AMA House of Delegates sent the matter to the CEJA for further consideration. The policy of opposing assisted suicide remains in effect.

Care at the end of life is a primary concern for most of my patients and I can say without hesitation that terminal patients need quality hospice and palliative care — not assisted suicide. In 1978, I co-founded the Hospice of Pasadena and, in 1981, I testified before Sen. Edward Kennedy’s subcommittee considering making hospice a Medicare benefit. As a board-certified physician in hospice and palliative medicine, I have seen firsthand that these specialized fields can alleviate suffering at the end of life.

Read more at The Washington Times…

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