Friday, October 07, 2005

M.D. Hopes Oregon Loses Court Battle to Preserve Doctor-Assisted Death

Dr. Kenneth Stevens, an Oregon physician, opposes the doctor-assisted suicide in his state. He says the practice of letting physicians prescribe lethal doses of medication to their dying patients must be stopped.

Dr. Stevens says that there is not one case where the patient was in uncontrolled pain, when they took the lethal dose of medication. He says that the public needs to understand that many patients have not been using the doctor-assisted suicide for unbearable pain. He says they are doing it more for psychological and social reasons.

Stevens believes any time doctor-assisted death is allowed to become an "easy out" for medical professionals, patient care has a tendency to become compromised. Already, he notes, a study on terminally ill patients in Oregon has shown that their level of care by doctors has deteriorated since physician-assisted suicide became legal in that state.

The battle is now between the government and the state of Oregon. And, the new Chief Justice John Roberts has sharply questioned an attorney arguing for the preservation of Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. The Bush administration is against the state law, but the voters have twice upheld it. 208 people, to date, have used the physician-assisted suicide law.

|Technorati|, ,