Essay Why Should A Physician Help End A Patient 's Suffering?
Why Can’t a Physician Help End a Patient’s Suffering?
“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or chemist’s drug…..But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play God.” -Hippocratic Oath: Modern Version
There is no doubt that every sensible person would rather not consider or plan suicide at the end of their life. Still, imagine that you are a rational and able person, maybe even a physician or lawyer, for death does not see rank. You have been diagnosed, treated and re-diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, stomach cancer or end stage ALS and you still have your capabilities. You have been through numerous chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, trips back and forth to doctors, even some late night visits to the emergency room when you were so weak from vomiting you blacked out; you are weak, your bones are feeble and they hurt, you are 35 years old but you look 50. You can’t eat so you are being nourished by a tube through a hole in your stomach. You are drained, tired of it all; the intolerable pain, weary of the disheartened looks from your family.
Your last visit to your oncologist proves no good news; as you are leaving, he shakes your hand and as you pull it away, in it is a small bottle of…