Regulating Physician-Assisted Death
Miller, Franklin G.
Quill, Timothy E.
Fletcher, John C.
Gostin, Lawrence O.
Meier, Diane E.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1994 Jul 14; 331(2): 119-123.
CONCLUSIONS: The ethical norms of relieving suffering and respecting patients' rights to self-determination support the permissibility of voluntary physician-assisted death as a last resort for terminally or incurably ill patients. The availability of the extraordinary option of lethal treatment, however, must be accompanied by careful regulation to minimize the risk of abuse. We recommend that physician-assisted death be legalized with adequate safeguards to protect vulnerable patients, preserve the professional integrity of physicians, and ensure accountability to the public. The policy we have outlined would ensure independent and impartial review of decisions to provide physician-assisted death in response to unrelievable suffering, without undue disruption of the doctor-patient relationship. We hope one or more states will decide democratically to expand the options for dying or incurably ill patients by implementing a policy that both promotes comfort care and permits voluntary physician-assisted death as a last resort.
Accountability; Assisted Suicide; Autonomy; Competence; Consent; Consultation; Death; Democracy; Education; Empirical Research; Euthanasia; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Government; Government Regulation; Guidelines; Informed Consent; Judicial Action; Legal Aspects; Legislation; Life; Liability; Palliative Care; Patient Advocacy; Patients; Patients' Rights; Physician's Role; Physicians; Policy Analysis; Public Policy; Quality of Life; Referral and Consultation; Regulation; Research; Review; Review Committees; Rights; Risk; State Government; Suffering; Suicide; Terminal Care; Terminally Ill; Treatment Refusal; Voluntary Euthanasia;
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