Monday, April 26, 2010

US Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia: The Dark Underbelly Of Abuse

Well, there are some things in this piece that I don’t agree with, but it does point out just how precarious the state of assisted sucide/euthanasia is in the US. First, euthanasia happens, even though it is illegal. Second, as this piece points out, and as many of us predicted ahead of legalization, that where assisted suicide is available in the US, it is not the transparent process everyone said it would be – in fact, it’s so under-the-table that the chances of abuse having happened are very high, I think.
Physician-assisted Suicide – Is Now the Time?
. . . Many studies indicate that a small, but definite proportion of U.S. physicians have performed physician-assisted suicide (PAS), even though it is illegal.2 The only national survey conducted found that, among a representative sample of 1,902 U.S. physicians with a high likelihood of caring for dying patients, 18.3 percent reported having received a request from a patient for medication to use with the primary intention of ending the patient’s life.  Of those physicians, 16 percent (or 42 physicians) had actually written the prescription and 59 percent of those patients (or 25 patients) used the prescriptions to end their lives. more

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