The editor-in-chief of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Lawrence Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., addresses physician assisted suicide in the winter edition of the journal. His goal is to encourage physicians and the medical associations of which they are a part to hold firm to medicine’s Hippocratic roots and continue to oppose assisted suicide measures.
We completely agree. Physician assisted suicide clearly violates the Hippocratic oath, a topic on we have written on before.
Dr. Huntoon goes on to describe the insidious ways in which physician-assisted suicide slowly expands
“Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are initially sold to the public as completely voluntary acts of compassion and ‘death with dignity,’” writes Dr. Huntoon, but “once in place, the next step is coercion.”
“The elderly and those suffering from severe debilitating illnesses, who may be depressed and lonely and who may not have the will or the energy to fight back to preserve their lives, are at risk,” Dr. Huntoon warns. “And if experience in other countries with physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia is any indication, those eligible for death-by-physician will expand to include the healthy and the very young as well.”
He is exactly right!
We join Dr. Huntoon in calling on physicians and medical associations to stand firm in complete and total opposition to physician assisted suicide.