General

Are you for Physician-Assisted Suicide?

Created by:

 
6 Jul 2016 - General
 

In the Philippines, it is illegal to perform physician-assisted suicide. This practice is actually legal in some parts of the United States since late 199O’s. As part of the healthcare community, we are largely exposed to the process of death and human suffering. It is our goal to provide compassionate care and comfort at all times. Devastating diseases end human life because of the limits of modern medicine. Some terminal illnesses allow patients to experience a painful and horrible death. As an example, families frequently request for optimum pain control for patients with advanced cancer. As a response, palliative care specialists or pain specialists give large doses of opioids despite knowing that these medications also lowers the blood pressure and suppresses breathing. Do you think that this counts as physician-assisted suicide? What is your current local law on this issue?

This has always been a sensitive issue. But as more and more people are made aware of it, acceptance has become easier. The first time I heard my grandma declare that she has signed a DNR, I thought: “Wow, brave.” When my father was in and out of the hospital last year and we were slowly coming to terms with the sad reality, we sat down as a family and talked about this. We had to decide these things when we’re all still able to talk rationally. For me, I think families have to take time to di...
 (Total 111 words)
I agree that the term "Physician-assisted suicide" is harsh and demeaning, because doctors are perceived to be stewards of life. To be honest, if a patient is imminently dying (as in cases of advanced cancer), I think giving opioids to alleviate the patient's pain, despite the forseen side effect of a possible death, is justifiable. In medical ethics, the doctrine of double effect applies to this case, wherein pain relief becomes the greater good and death becomes the lesser evil ...
 (Total 123 words)
I do not think that the provision of large doses of analgesia (i.e. Opiates) can be counted as physician assisted suicide unless the purpose of provision of the analgesia is to achieve death for the patient. I think physician assisted suicide should really be rebranded. The current name draws too negative an imagery. I think that physician assisted suicide is one of those things that we actually harm patients because we are unable to provide for patients due to ethical considerations( other exam...
 (Total 131 words)
I think this issue has also been made popular today especially with the release of the movie "Me Before You" if you've seen it (where a partially paralyzed patient opted for assisted suicide). More and more cases like this are encountered everyday, and such methods have not yet been legalized even in many Western countries where people are less conservative. Also, in many Asian countries where religion and morality is a very big influence, I think such measures are far from being l...
 (Total 131 words)
In Sri Lanka the situation is not different either. As all three of you have mentioned in this thread, we come across patients who are terminally ill on a daily basis and we are helpless in the face of law. Complete withdrawal of medication and life support can in fact be looked upon as physician-assisted suicide but physicians don't do it that way, do they? Anyhow I personally believe that euthanasia should be legalized provided the decision is discussed with the patient, his/her caregivers...
 (Total 118 words)
When to stop supportive care in terminal illness is a big question to which we do not have the correct answer. It is a well known fact that certain diseases will not be cured and will progress despite therapy. Mostly near and dear ones to the patient would be well-informed in case of such chronic diseases and it would be easy to explain the situation to them. I deal with malignancy patients and this situation arises more often than not. It is often observed that sometimes the relatives would lik...
 (Total 206 words)
In Malaysia, physician-assisted suicide is also illegal. It's always a struggle to see patient's suffer and these are the many times that we are reminded of our limitation. I'm sure many of us have had patients ask us to help them end their misery. When this occur, I find myself stuck between the rock and a very hard place. Plainly put, I feel helpless. However, I also know that some patients are requesting this in the spur of the moment, when their judgement is skewed. I wonder, in ...
 (Total 154 words)