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Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Cancer Patient, Survivor and Caregiver

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 Patients, their families, and physicians have been satisfied with a “death with dignity” physician-assisted suicide program made available to terminal cancer patients at a Seattle clinic…

If you are a cancer survivor would you ever look to physician-assisted suicide? Under what circumstances would you want physician-assisted suicide made available to you? If you are a cancer caregiver, under what circumstances would you want physician-assisted suicide made available to your charge?

A downside of my job as the writer and director for PeopleBeatingCancer is that I have to read articles and studies about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to cancer. And there is a lot about end-stage cancer that is ugly. It turns out that fighting the good fight can be complicated.

Image result for image of physician assisted suicide

I cannot and will not speak for anyone but myself on the issue of PAS. At this point in my life as a cancer survivor I hope I never have to seriously consider PAS. But knowing what I have learned about what can happen during the final stages of cancer, I have decided that PAS should be my choice.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. For more information about hospice care and cancer, scroll down the page, post a question and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Physician-Assisted Suicide Program Wins Praise

By John Gever, Deputy Managing Editor, MedPage Today

Published: April 10, 2013
Patients, their families, and physicians have been satisfied with a “death with dignity” physician-assisted suicide program made available to terminal cancer patients at a Seattle clinic, clinicians there reported…
“Patients, caregivers, and family members have frequently expressed gratitude after the patient obtained the prescription, regardless of whether it was ever filled or ingested, typically referencing an important sense of control in an uncertain situation,” the authors wrote in the April 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine…
“Our Death with Dignity program both allows patients with cancer who wish to consider this option to do so within the context of their ongoing care and accommodates variation in clinicians’ willingness to participate,” they added. “The program ensures that patients (and families) are aware of all the options for high-quality, end-of-life care, including palliative and hospice care, with the opportunity to have any concerns or fears addressed, while also meeting state requirements.”
The authors noted that, in the debates about physician-assisted suicide in Washington and Oregon (which enacted a similar law in 1997), critics argued that “vulnerable” populations might be selectively steered into such programs. But Loggers and colleagues said their experience has not borne that out.

Loggers and colleagues indicated that, whereas all of their patients had terminal cancer, about 20% of the wider group of patients in the two states undertaking physician-assisted suicide had other diagnoses, primarily neurodegenerative diseases.”

 

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