You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Assisted suicide is a compassionate option for those who are suffering. If someone is in unbearable pain, they should be able to end their life on their own terms.”
What would you say?
The push to legalize assisted suicide has intensified in recent years, and it’s often framed as a merciful and compassionate option for those who suffer from unbearable physical pain.
But assisted suicide is not compassionate.
So next time someone tells you that assisted suicide is the compassionate thing to do, remember these four things.
First, assisted suicide robs patients of compassionate care.
Second, the right to die leads to a duty to die.
Third, assisted suicide ruins trust with doctors.
Fourth, sometimes a terminal diagnosis is wrong.
Donate Here: http://WhatWouldYouSay.org/give
Sources and Further Reading:
For more on the reasons for requesting medical assistance in dying, see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6135145/
For more on fear and depression-based requests for assisted suicides, see: H. Rex Greene, “Opposition to Neutrality on AB 651H,” letter to the California Medical Association (CMA) Council on Ethical Affairs, February 22, 2006, https://dredf.org/public-policy/assisted-suicide/opposition-toneutrality-on-ab-651/.
For more on assisted suicide in the state of Oregon, see: Oregon Death with Dignity Act, 2018 Data Summary, accessed March 16, 2019, https://www.oregon.gov/ oha/PH/PROVIDERPARTNERRESOURCES/EVALUATIONRESEARCH/DEATHWITHDIGNITYACT/Documents/ year21.pdf. and http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/assisted-suicide/to-live-each-day/upload/Top-Reasons-to-Oppose-Assisted-Suicide-final.pdf
For more on the case of the woman in California, see: Bradford Richardson, Assisted-Suicide Law Prompts Insurance Company to Deny Coverage to Terminally Ill California Woman, Wash. Times (Oct 20 2016) https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/20/assisted-suicide-law-prompts-insurance-company-den/
For more on pressures to choose assisted suicide, see:
For more on the Supreme Court’s warning about the vulnerable, see: Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 732 (1997)
For more on the elderly’s fear of going to the doctor in the Netherlands, see: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/8466996/Fearful-elderly-people-carry-anti-euthanasia-cards.html; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6372385/Dutch-euthanasia-doctor-accused-drugging-elderly-woman-injecting-Hague.html
For more on the case of Pietro D’Amico, see: The Local. (2013, July 11). Botched diagnosis led to Italian’s assisted death. Retrieved from http://www.thelocal.it/20130711/medical-error-led-to-italians-assisted-suicide.
For more on Dr. Jack Kevorkian, see: Roscoe, L. A., Malphurs, M. A., Dragovic, L. J. & Cohen, D. (2000). Dr. Jack Kevorkian and cases of euthanasia in Oakland County Mich. 1990 – 1998. N Eng. J Med. 343, 1735 – 1736.
For more on the case of Nancy Crick, see: The Sydney Morning Herald. (2004, June 8). Post mortem reveals euthanasia crusader clear of cancer. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/08/1086460287366.html?from=storylhs.