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Argument: Doctors are obligated to reduce patient suffering by enabling euthanasia

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Supporting quotations

Rosamond Rhodes, Director of Bioethics Education at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Physician Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate. 1998. - "A doctor's commitment to acting for patients' good creates a clear obligation to help a patient avoid an agonizing, protracted death. Allowing a patient to suffer when the suffering could be ended is an obvious violation of the duty of beneficence...

Sometimes, because of special features of the need, or because of the special relationship, or because of the uniqueness of the knowledge involved, a physician may have a professional obligation to assist in a suicide or perform euthanasia."[1]


Margaret Battin, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah. Regulating How We Die: The Ethical, Medical, and Legal Issues Surrounding Physician-Assisted Suicide. 1998 - "It is my view that even the physician with the most profound moral scruples against physician-assisted suicide can, in certain circumstances, incur an obligation to provide this assistance... I hasten to add that I support the legal recognition of opt-out provisions... But that does not mean that a physician has no moral obligation to help, even if there is no legal one... Where the patient's request really does originate in autonomy and in the claim to mercy, it does mean that the physician is obligated not to entrap the patient into compliance with the physician's values rather than the patient's own values."[2]


Eric J. Cassell, Clinical Professor of Public Health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Chapter, "When Suffering Patients Seek Death." Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice. 2004. - "When terminally ill patients request assistance in dying because of their suffering, and their request meets commonly endorsed safeguards, their request should be honored. Those who disagree...should feel no compulsion to give aid in dying. I do not believe that palliative care or hospice programs should publicly support assisted death... This does not relieve individual physicians of the responsibility to help their suffering patients, even if that help includes assistance in dying when their suffering is unendurable and beyond relief."[3]

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