Lois Snyder, JD; Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM, MD, PhD; William E. Golden, MD
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Snyder L, Sulmasy DP, Golden WE. Physician-Assisted Suicide. Ann Intern Med. 2002;137:216-217. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-137-3-200208060-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(3):216-217.
The College's decision to oppose the legalization of physician-assisted suicide was made after a serious, reasoned consideration of a wide variety of points of view and after a thorough examination of the medical, ethical, legal, and social ramifications of legalizing this practice.
Drs. Leeman and de Torrenté raise some of the issues we considered but do not explain the basis for the right to physician-assisted suicide that they support. They also fail to acknowledge the debate about the appropriate role of medicine in caring for patients at the end of life. The College argued that medicine cannot and should not be asked by society to attempt to relieve all human suffering and that it is not for physicians to end suffering by directly causing death. Drs. Leeman and de Torrenté focus not on arguments of principle but on practical issues like the potential for abuse and slippery slopes—-important issues that we also considered. They do not focus on the full picture.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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