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Should a physician help a patient to die in order to end the patient's suffering? No ethical question other than that about abortion has been so hotly debated with so little agreement. Part of the problem is confusion about terminology (for example, active or passive, voluntary or involuntary euthanasia). However, there is fundamental disagreement among physicians and ethicists about whether the boundaries of the healing profession should allow a physician to hasten a patient's death intentionally, even when there is no alternative way to ease the patient's suffering.
Thomasma and Graber provide a good account of the major ethical arguments
Euthanasia: Toward an Ethical Social Policy. Ann Intern Med. ;114:1067–1068. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-114-12-1067_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(12):1067-1068.
End-of-Life Care, Ethics.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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