By Dr. Paul Carpentier
Reflecting on the Hippocratic oath, the great anthropologist Margaret Mead said that the decision of physicians to stop killing was crucial to modern medical care. By advocating for physician-prescribed suicide, we abdicate our responsibility to patients and turn the medical profession upside-down [“Assisted-suicide bill debated in Albany,” News, April 24].
In Oregon, the first state to allow physician-assisted suicide, providers have noticed that patients are losing faith in the medical system. Seriously ill patients are requesting second and often third opinions for some treatments because they have become suspicious of doctors. “Medical aid in dying” is assisted suicide. The New York State Court of Appeals investigated and ruled so in a unanimous decision last year.
Instead, our community should help doctors and nurses alleviate suffering, not encourage them to eliminate the person. The provision of suicide would weaken the support of hospice services that already need a boost.
We should not grant a profession or a government that authority.
Dr. Paul Carpentier, West Islip
Editor’s note: The writer is medical director of the Long Island Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility in Babylon.
Source: “As Albany considers doctor-aided suicide“, Newsday