Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

How Many Doctors Support Suicide for the Terminally Ill?

The results varied from country to country...

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

September 24, 2013 - 4:00 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Not long ago the New England Journal of Medicine ran an article on the vexed question of physician-assisted suicide in the case of the terminally ill, and doctors were asked to vote, for or against, online. The results of the poll have just been published.

As the editors are at pains to point out, such a poll has no scientific validity, since those who took the trouble to vote were not a representative sample of anyone but themselves. This does not mean, though, that the poll was altogether without interest, though certain data would have made it even more interesting.

In all, the journal received 5,205 votes from doctors around the world. However, the editors noticed that there were multiple votes in quick succession from several locations in Canada, suggesting a concerted effort to influence the result. These – 1,137 of them – were excluded from the report, leaving 4,068 votes deemed valid.

It would have been interesting to know in which direction the discounted votes voted, but this information was not given. Do those against or those in favor of physician-assisted suicide have a more active lobby or pressure group in Canada? I am not sure I would know which way to bet: one could almost hold a poll on the subject. 

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The reality is that assisted suicide or euthanasia has become commonplace in the form of home hospice care for the terminally ill. Families remove their dying relative from the hospital, take them home, the care providers supply IV drip painkiller(s) which the family administers by turning up the drip until the family member dies. Nobody likes to talk about it, but it happens every day all over the Country.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
As long as the medical profession are in charge we have nothing to worry abou
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If ya'll don't mind, when I get to the point where there there is no up side, I'm being kept alive to pad the hospitals budget, and every day is an adventure in futility, I'm going to hie myself down to the vet and get put down.
I have no idea where the idea that we have to stay alive just because we're human. We treat pets with more compassion and common sense than people. Why does someone else have more say over my fate than I do. I'm in no rush but death is nature's way of telling you to slow down. Seems to me I'm capable of making the decision. Just in case I'm not, I've done the paperwork to cover that contingency. To those who would thwart my decision, you really don't want me coming back to haunt you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah. I really want to spend my last few months living in pain and suffering like an abused dog. Plus, I get to leave my family with hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in medical bills... that they won't ever have a chance in hell of paying.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The reality of this is that it's a personal choice for both the patient and the doctor. It gets a little dodgy and morally questionable for patients who can't make the choice (either due to flawed mental process or lack of conscious thought).

While everyone is entitled to their opinion we must also respect that of others and if a terminal patient would rather get it over with and a doctor obliges them we should be able to respect that.

Frankly, the option should be there for everybody, because it's just that. An option.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i want an old doctor who believes he should care about me, not society. sorry for my selfishness.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Before all the gasbags and bigmouths started talking about this issue and got the lawyers involved this was a simple deal. Once you got your second opinion and the outlook was terminal and the pain really began to manifest itself your doctor would prescribe some pain medication. Then he would caution you that said medication was habit forming and that an overdose could be fatal. "Don't take more than six of these in any 24 hour period" or words to that effect. Then he'd list cause of death as heart failure, or terminal cancer, or something similar and life would go on for your family.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It happens every day in Hospice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You mean you want all Liberals to kill themselves??
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The reality is that assisted suicide or euthanasia has become commonplace in the form of home hospice care for the terminally ill. Families remove their dying relative from the hospital, take them home, the care providers supply IV drip painkiller(s) which the family administers by turning up the drip until the family member dies. Nobody likes to talk about it, but it happens every day all over the Country.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In Canada the Leftists (media, academics, etc) are all pushing for Herr Doktors to be armed with lethal cocktails which they can administer as per "request." It would change (IMO) irrevocably the medical institution, by turning doctors into killers. (In Canada we have hospice care for the terminally ill who cannot remain at home or care for themselves -- these hospice workers know how to take care of pain issues and end of life issues -- we don't need killer doctors).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One supposes a "harm" could be defined as unbearable pain leading soon, but not too soon, to death. The problems remain how to measure the pain (by what standard) and how to define soon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You don't have to retionalize it. When patients are enduring unbearable pain, the doctors just prescribe extremely high doses of morphine which puts them in a comatose state until they die.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As I said, the problems remain.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is a doctor that deliberately kills a patient, no matter how or for what reasons he uses to rationalize it, really a "doctor"?

Isn't there the Hippocratic Oath to guide us?

"First, to no harm."

Kind of hard to reconcile when you're deliberately ending your "patient's" life.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All