Assisted suicide cannot be allowed
I applaud professor Harvey Berman’s opposition to physician-assisted suicide offered in his fine Another Voice.
While medication to alleviate excruciating pain of a terminally ill patient, even if such medication were to shorten the patient’s lifespan, can be morally justified, to directly kill a patient is an abomination and violates the prohibition of assisted suicide found in the Hippocratic Oath.
Conceivably, a health care provider could tell a suffering patient that the patient’s policy does not provide for pain medication. The provider might then add, “However, we have a permanent pain pill. You won’t feel a thing.”
The patient consents to the provider’s suggestion, is executed and the provider goes off to a luncheon hosted by those grateful health care executives for whom the bottom line means more than that patient’s life.
Richard H. Escobales Jr.