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Argument: Physicians can never be obligated to facilitate euthanasia

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Supporting quotations

Edmund Pellegrino, Director of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University. Chapter, "The False Promise of Beneficent Killing," How We Die: The Ethical, Medical, and Legal Issues Surrounding Physician-Assisted Suicide. (1998). - "Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not ethical obligations of physicians... The prohibition against physician participation in euthanasia and assisted suicide has been elemental in the traditional ethics of medicine for a long time... These acts [euthanasia and assisted suicide] are far from being established morally or accepted professionally."[1]


Leon Kass, former Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, writes in his chapter. Chapter: "'I Will Give No Deadly Drug': Why Doctors Must Not Kill". The Case Against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care. 2002. - "Medicine surely owes patients assistance in their dying process--to relieve their pain, discomfort, and distress. This is simply part of what it means to seek to relieve suffering, always an essential part of caring for the living, including when they are in the process of their dying. But medicine has never, under anyone's interpretation, been charged with producing or achieving death itself. Physicians cannot be serving their art or helping their patients--whether regarded as human beings or as persons--by making them disappear."[2]


Bernard Baumrin, Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. Physician Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate. 1998. - "Anyone claiming a right to physician assistance in dying must show that some physician has a duty to satisfy that right...

Nothing, absolutely nothing, requires that physicians be the instruments of suicide aid... The physician's task is to tell the patient...what's wrong, and to the best of the doctor's ability, what is going to happen. The physician's job is to heal the sick, to stave off death, and to say as best as he or she can what the future will be like for each particular patient. The physician gets to be the helpless person's medical guide because he or she is trusted to hold the patient's good uppermost, and the patient's good does not include death."[3]

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