Physician-assisted suicide

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5 Scopus citations


Tremendous debate surrounds the acceptability of physician-assisted suicide in the United States. Progress requires carefully mapping the relationship of this practice to termination of life-sustaining treatment, appropriate pain relief and palliative care, and euthanasia. Arguments that have been offered in favor of permitting physicians to aid suicide include the importance of patient autonomy, the claim that patients need this option to cope with symptoms at the end of life, and the assertion that practices already accepted involve intentionally ending life. Arguments that have been offered against include the potential for abuse, the claim that forbidding intentional killing is essential to the ethics of medicine, and the assertion that patients can be provided good and humane care at the end of life without assisting suicide. Addressing the demand for physician-assisted suicide requires improvement in end-of-life care and continued discussion attentive to emerging empirical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalClinics in Geriatric Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005


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