Oregon and Vermont – extremes on the map and extremes on medical ethics. But this is the first time that I’ve heard that doctors should give patients a deadly prescription to prevent a “back alley” death.
How many of us really want our Family Doctor to be proficient in killing? Or, in over-riding his or her conscience?
The Vermont Legislature is once again considering legalized, intentional death by medication and physician prescription.
From the Burlington Free Press:
Is it suicide? That’s at heart of Statehouse debate
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007
By Terri Hallenbeck
Free Press Staff Writer
MONTPELIER — Dr. Robert Orr read the Webster’s Dictionary definition of suicide: “The act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.”
How, he asked, is that different from proposed legislation that the House Human Services Committee is considering that would allow a terminally ill patient to hasten dying with a lethal dose of medication?
We’re trying to change the dictionary definition we’ve been working with for years,” he said.
Dick Walters, an ardent supporter of the legislation, sees the two — suicide and physician-assisted dying — as entirely different things. “Suicide is a desperate act,” he said. “It’s done in a back alley, a barn. It destroys families.
“What we’re talking about in H. 44 is something totally different,” he said. “They’re doing this under care, with loved ones around them. They’re saying goodbye in a way supportive of their own values.”
HT to Bioethicsnews.com