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Argument: There is no reason why euthanasia would damage palliative care

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Supporting quotes

Gerrit Kimsma, M.D., M.A., and Evert van Leeuwen, Ph.D. "Assisted Death in the Netherlands: Physician at the Bedside When Help Is Requested," a chapter in 2004 book Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care & Patient Choice - "Assisting death in no way precludes giving the best palliative care possible but rather integrates compassionate care and respect for the patient's autonomy and ultimately makes death with dignity a real option...

The evidence for the emotional impact of assisted dying on physicians shows that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a far cry from being 'easier options for the caregiver' than palliative care, as some critics of Dutch practice have suggested. We wish to take a strong stand against the separation and opposition between euthanasia and assisted suicide, on the one hand, and palliative care, on the other, that such critics have implied. There is no 'either-or' with respect to these options. Every appropriate palliative option available must be discussed with the patient and, if reasonable, tried before a request for assisted death can be accepted...

Opposing euthanasia to palliative care...neither reflects the Dutch reality that palliative medicine is incorporated within end-of-life care nor the place of the option of assisted death at the request of a patient within the overall spectrum of end-of-life care."[1]


Margaret Battin, M.D., and Timothy Quill, M.D. Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care & Patient Choice. (2004). - "Good palliative care, including that provided by hospice, is incompatible with physician-assisted death. Of all the misconceptions and errors perpetrated by opponents of legaliztion, this is perhaps the most damaging in its departure from the truth... The majority of patients in Oregon who chose assisted death under the Death With Dignity Act were enrolled in hospice programs, and the majority of Oregon hospices have chosen to continue to care for those who are considering this choice. In addition, the Netherlands now has approximately one hundred inpatient hospices, and twenty-four-hour pain-control hotlines provide immediate advice for physicians. As several of the accounts of the practice in the Netherlands...show, better palliative care has been very much a goal of medical policy."[2]

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