Recently the American College of Physicians released a position statement opposing assisted suicide.
The statement reads in part,
As a proponent of patient-centered care, the American College of Physicians (ACP) is attentive to all voices, including those who speak of the desire to control when and how life will end. However, the ACP believes that the ethical arguments against legalizing physician-assisted suicide remain the most compelling. . . . [T]he ACP does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide.
This is really good news. It highlights the fact that assisted suicide is not an ethical medical practice.
The demand for assisted suicide seems to be driven largely by concerns about autonomy in the face of death. Researchers in Canada — where assisted suicide is legal — found that people inquired about assisted-suicide not because of excruciating pain, but because they are dissatisfied with their lives in the wake of their illness.
A study conducted in Oregon in 1999 concluded, “the decision to request and use a prescription for lethal medications . . . was associated with views on autonomy and control, not with fear of intractable pain or concern about financial loss.”
Human life is sacred, and no sickness gives us an excuse to end someone’s life prematurely. We do not eliminate suffering by eliminating people who suffer, plain and simple.