Kenneth R Stevens
Physician participation in assisted suicide or euthanasia can have a profound harmful effect on the involved physicians. Doctors must take responsibility for causing the patient’s death. There is a huge burden on conscience, tangled emotions and a large psychological toll on the participating physicians. Many physicians describe feelings of isolation. Published evidence indicates that some patients and others are pressuring and intimidating doctors to assist in suicides. Some doctors feel they have no choice but to be involved in assisted suicides. Oregon physicians are decreasingly present at the time of the assisted suicide. There is also great potential for physicians to be affected by countertransference issues in dealing with end-of-Iife care, and assisted suicide and euthanasia..
Stevens KR. Emotional and Psychological Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia On Participating Physicians. The Linacre Quarterly. 2006;73(3).