The Case Against Physician Assisted Suicide
Boehnlein, James K.
Community Mental Health Journal. 1999 Feb; 35(1): 5-14.
Physician assisted suicide (PAS) engenders debate about the meaning of professional identity, what is proper in the doctor/patient relationship, and the physician's appropriate role in society. Polarization on PAS largely arises from different views on what defines compassion in relieving pain and suffering, and the proper balance between individual autonomy and social imperatives. This paper discusses the ethical, social and economic arguments against PAS, including a historical perspective on other socially-sanctioned inappropriate uses of medical technology and expertise. This paper maintains that a truly dignified death does not come at the hand of a physician-healer, despite compelling arguments that it is a compassionate act.
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