Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Medical Ethical Debates About Euthanasia Are So Much Hot Air

Yes, yes, the handwringing continues. Why don’t we cut the balderdash and say, “Yeah, we’re doctors, we can turn your machines off any anytime. You die, we move on, have a nice day . . . “
Turning off heart devices near life's end stirs ethical, legal debates
A survey shows that nearly all physicians approve of turning off a defibrillator, but nearly a third say withdrawing a pacemaker amounts to assisted suicide.
Many physicians believe that deactivating heart devices is a form of physician-aided death, according to a survey published in the November Mayo
Clinic Proceedings.
"Almost one-third of medical professionals surveyed considered withdrawal of a pacemaker in a pacemaker-dependent patient as physician- assisted suicide or euthanasia, but only a very small percentage believed the same about an ICD," said Samuel J. Asirvatham, MD, the study's lead author and an electrophysiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. more

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