The danger of assisted suicide laws

cnn opinion

by Marilyn Golden

Mon October 13, 2014

(CNN) -- My heart goes out to Brittany Maynard, who is dying of brain cancer and who wrote last week about her desire for what is often referred to as "death with dignity."

Yet while I have every sympathy for her situation, it is important to remember that for every case such as this, there are hundreds -- or thousands -- more people who could be significantly harmed if assisted suicide is legal.

Read more: The danger of assisted suicide laws

Physician-Assisted Dying: A Clinician's Perspective

MedScape

Joshua M. Hauser, MD

September 25, 2014

Responding to Wishes for Hastened Death

Dying is unpredictable. These cases represent two phenomena which I believe are common in our care of dying patients: (1) how rapidly patients' wishes for hastened death can change; and (2) the unpredictability of the interventions that we use to address these wishes. Sometimes, despite all of the remarkable advances in palliative care that we have had over these past decades, we may not even know which specific intervention has made a difference.

Read more: Physician-Assisted Dying: A Clinician's Perspective

Doctor-assisted suicide poses very real risks

TrentonTimes

August 16, 2014 at 5:54 AM

We write in response to The Times’ editorial “Death with dignity for the terminally ill proposal includes critical safeguards” (Aug. 10).

The assisted suicide bill, Death with Dignity for the Terminally Ill Act (A2270), has not been passed because of dangers it poses, brought to public attention by an alliance of disability rights advocates, medical professionals and palliative care and hospice specialists.

Assisted suicide is structured in a way that presents very real risks of abuse by greedy heirs and caregivers. We don’t all live in “Leave-it-to-Beaver” households. Who would know if an elderly person is pressured into suicide?

Read more: Doctor-assisted suicide poses very real risks

N.J. already has compassionate end-of-life options

TrentonTimes

By Times of Trenton guest opinion column 
on August 25, 2014 at 5:20 AM

By Dr. Joseph F. Fennelly

A recent Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll asked, “If you were to become terminally ill and have fewer than six months to live, would you or would you not want the legal option to end your own life with the assistance of a physician?” Of the 819 respondents, 51 percent say the state should pass a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs if they are expected to die within six months.

Read more: N.J. already has compassionate end-of-life options

Death with Dignity Act lacks safeguards to protect patients who are depressed

TrentonTimes

By Times of Trenton Letters to the Editor 
on August 27, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Assisted suicide brings with it consequences on society that The Times’ editorial board ignored in its latest editorial on the issue, "Death with Dignity for the Terminally Ill proposal includes critical safeguards" (Aug. 10).

In Washington state and Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, there is virtually no oversight to protect those who may be depressed, which often, if not always, occurs at some point during the course of an illness. 

Read more: Death with Dignity Act lacks safeguards to protect patients who are depressed