Redefining Physicians’ Role in Assisted Dying

Julian J.Z. Prokopetz, Lisa Soleymani Lehmann

New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM
New England Journal of Medicine

Journal Summary
Data from places with legal assisted dying have allayed concerns about potential abuses and patient safety, but a lingering challenge comes from the medical establishment. Creating a centralized mechanism for prescribing lethal medication could overcome this hurdle.

Prokopetz JJZ, Lehmann LS. Redefining Physicians’ Role in Assisted Dying.  N Engl J Med 2012;  367:97-99 July 12, 2012

One thought on “Redefining Physicians’ Role in Assisted Dying”

  1. This opinion piece asserts that “momentum is building” in favour of assisted suicide and euthanasia, citing activism in various jurisdictions and a recent Canadian court ruling that struck down the law against physician assisted suicide.  The authors support assisted suicide and euthanasia, but do not see the need for physician assistance.  They suggest that the physician role be limited to providing a written summary of a patient’s condition, prognosis and alternative treatments.  Patients would then obtain lethal prescriptions from some state authority.The article is somewhat unclear about the extent to which the authors would be willing to permit conscientious objection.

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