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Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide is too Dangerous
Legalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is not about giving patients the right to die but about giving physicians the right to kill. Suicide is tragic but not illegal. Verbal engineering always precedes social engineering, so pro-suicide groups are trying to wrap the respectability of the medical profession around something society has tried to prevent for many years. They’ve also cloaked the word “suicide” in the camouflage of good words like “compassion,” “choice” and so-called “death with dignity.” Dignity is not found in a handful of lethal pills.
Assisted suicide should not be legal because it is DANGEROUS.
It is Dangerous for PHYSICIANS
- It destroys trust which is the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship. That’s why major medical associations adamantly oppose it.
- It takes no great skill to kill, but it does to provide superb end-of-life care. A medical student could go to medical school only half-day to learn to do it.
- It is the easy option for a busy, stressed, or frustrated physician.
- It gives too much power to physicians to be judge, jury, and assistant executioner. They could convince a patient this is a reasonable step just by how they describe the diagnosis and prognosis.
- It assumes physicians are perfect moral agents. If we couldn’t control Jack Kevorkian when it was illegal, what makes us think we can control 700,000 physicians when it is?
It is Dangerous for FAMILIES
- Families don’t have to be informed. They can be left with guilt, anger, and sadness.
- It will cause family dissension as some oppose it and others encourage it.
- It opens the door to the worst form of elder abuse by the self-centered or exhausted care providers or greedy relatives.