Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday, 4/27 - Physician-assisted Suicide

Hi everyone,

To tie-in with last week's discussion of suicide, Bioethics Club will be examining Physician-assisted Suicide on Thursday at 12pm in the Learning Studio.

For a brief overview of the topic, the University of Washington SOM's Ethics page has a very concise summary of the arguments for and against:
Did you know that PAS is legal in several states? The aforementioned website quotes two studies showing that one out of five physicians report receiving a request from a patient for aid in dying, so even if you can't make the meeting, it may be worth your time to reflect on the issue.

Also, I'd like to recommend this chilling, anonymous short essay published in JAMA to great controversy, entitled, "It's Over, Debbie":

The following additional articles or websites were found and recommended by Prof. Chen to supplement our investigation into the topic:

* The following website discusses PAS in conjunction with euthanasia and tries to give equal attention to all sides of the issues. This site also points folks to two other websites that are updated more frequently -- one that supports PAS and another that opposes it.

* Quill T. Death and Dignity -- A case of individualized decision making. NEJM 1991. (sparked enormous controversy)

* Miller FG. A planned death in the family. Hastings Center Report 2009. (written by a philosopher-bioethicist about his sister, really makes one think about the distinctions we make between withdrawing treatment and PAS.)

* And finally, a recent newpaper article about Vermont's PAS bill interviewed the brother of the man whose death was responsible for Kevorkian's jail term.


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