Physician-Assisted Suicide: For Pain Elimination or A Right?

By Rob Williams

If you are in favor of physician-assisted suicide because you think it is the only alternative to unbearable pain or because you champion individual "rights", please read on:

1. The medical profession has the ability today to control pain. A person in pain does not need to destroy their entire body to stop the pain, they need a doctor who has been trained in using the lastest drugs and techniques to end pain. Many, many doctors are NOT. Please see these links: International Association for the Study of Pain, American Society for Action on Pain, Links to Pain Clinics.

2. The right to physician-assisted suicide is really the right to kill another person because that other person agrees to be killed. There will always be plenty of psychotics around who enjoy killing weak, helpless, confused, senile people who "agree" to be killed. In the United States, state courts have ruled that if competent people have a right, the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment requires that "incompetent people be given the same "right". The word "right" sounds good, but here it opens the floodgates to unbelievable abuse. Please see these links: Nursing Home Residents and Euthanasia, ADAPT (People with disabilities).

One final note: David, a reader of this web site wrote the following interesting observation: "People struggle only to live. Even after giving the lethal injection, the body does what? It struggles to survive. I have learned that in many cases our own body knows better than our minds. Our minds are often (especially when in great pain or when under the influence of any medicine) unreliable."

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