Assisted Suicide - Legal, Medicine, Ethical and Social Issues: Hearing Before the Committee on Commerce, U. S. House of Representatives

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DIANE Publishing, 1998 - 143 pages
Many people question whether Fed. funds should pay the costs of physician-assisted suicide. This is an extremely difficult and complex issue, especially with regard to a person suffering from a terminal illness or who has a disability. Witnesses include figures from the religious, medical, ethical and patient communities: Lutheran Church-MO Synod; Nat. Assoc. of People w/AIDS; Amer. Med. Assoc.; Oregon Catholic Conf.; George Wash. Univ. Med. Cntr.; Physicians for Compassionate Care; Greek Orthodox Church; Center for Medical Ethics; Amer. Jewish Comm.; Consort. for Citizens w/Disabil.; Amer. Nurse Assoc., and C. Everett Koop.
 

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Page 137 - I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel ; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.
Page 2 - I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing.
Page 141 - Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association. An up-to-date expression and elaboration of these statements is found in the Opinions and Reports of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical...
Page 60 - Patients should not be abandoned once it is determined that cure is impossible. Patients near the end of life must continue to receive emotional support, comfort care, adequate pain control, respect for patient autonomy, and good communication. Issued June 1994 based on the reports "Decisions Near the End of Life," issued June 1991, and "Physician-Assisted Suicide,
Page 5 - Medicare] for any expenses incurred for items or services which . . . are not reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of the malformed body member").
Page 59 - ... the primary consideration should be what is best for the individual patient and not the avoidance of a burden to the family or to society. Quality of life is a factor to be considered in determining what is best for the individual. Life should be cherished despite disabilities and handicaps, except when the prolongation would be inhumane and unconscionable.
Page 92 - I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.
Page 119 - ... an individual's rights under State law (whether statutory or as recognized by the courts of the State) to make decisions concerning such medical care, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and the right to formulate advance directives...
Page 60 - There is no ethical distinction between withdrawing and withholding lifesustaining treatment. A competent, adult patient may, in advance, formulate and provide a valid consent to the withholding or withdrawal of life-support systems in the event that injury or illness renders that individual incompetent to make such a decision.
Page 119 - A prescription for a controlled substance to be effective must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his professional practice. The responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription.

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