Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hastening the Process

Massachusetts votes in November on legalizing physician-assisted suicide. But is that the right term for it? Is giving it another name euphemism inspired by compassion? Perhaps this helps in discerning an answer.

As a resident physician at Johns Hopkins, I find myself completely inundated with desperate pleas from people who wish to extend their lives, not shorten them. Why did Dr. Egbert decide to use his medical knowledge for assisting suicide instead of for saving lives, especially since so many methods for non-assisted suicide already exist?
LAWRENCE EGBERT: I do not assist in a suicide.  I help people stop their suffering. Lots of physicians are helping patients stop the suffering as I am sure you do.  I have taught for years at Hopkins and can tell you some of your fellow students have witnessed staff physicians helping their patient hasten the process. 
The exchange is from a compelling study of a PAS practitioner in the Washington Post. To read more, see:


  1. If you read the entire article that preceded the "live chat" with Egbert, you learn that Egbert and the Final Exit Network have facilitated the suicides of many NONterminally-ill people. One was a middle-aged woman in Arizona with a history of emotional difficulties but minor physical issues. If "hastening death" now covers helping the suicides of people with years or decades left to live, I guess we can extend the term to death row prisoners who stop their appeals and ask for an execution date to be set ASAP.

  2. Seriously did a medical help someone to commit suicide? Is this something that you will sit to vote on? look at http://www.saleshandy.com/blog/ways-to-inspire-customer-loyalty/ site for more better solution. I don’t think there should be any waste of time on this at all. The doctor who helped the patient to commit suicide must be jailed for at least 3 month to serve as a deterrent to others. Doctors are to save lives and not waste one, under no circumstances.

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