Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alleged 'Death with Dignity' Law Taking Effect,2933,502885,00.html

-Washington (State)

My far libertarian impulse would be that the decision to take one's own life is best left to the individual without outside interference. Seeing as how suicide falls within the "seamless garment" of life issues, is that really the case?

First of all, while the actual decision to undergo the "procedure" is with the patient. All the relevant information needed by the patient to make the decision is EXCLUSIVELY from the doctor (barring of course the patient being a medical professional). The law apparently stipulates a 6-month life expectancy; Who else places a life expectancy on a patient but the doctor?

Should doctors then be empowered to give strong recommendations to actively end a patient's life? This is not the same as "not making heroic life saving measures" which is passive (and not suicide). Once the option is on the table, doctor assisted suicide will migrate from the option of last resort to just another medical procedure.

Meanwhile, the original Hippocratic Oath says:
I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath. .. I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

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