Image via WikipediaI couldn't be more pleased to see Dr. Rosielle and Dr. Sinclair of Pallimed expanding on Washington state's upcoming vote on their "Death With Dignity Act". The publicity on this issue has, indeed, been very poor. Please take the time to peruse their posts on this very important initiative. Below is a partial excerpt from one of their articles:
(See standard disclaimer at the end RE: Hastened Death)
"I wanted to highlight some of the editorials and articles regarding the upcoming Washington State I-1000 Death With Dignity Act. (You can get some basic info from my previous post, if you are not familiar with the proposed legislation)
The issue of hastened death and specifically physician-assisted suicide is important for the palliative care community as it highlights many of the concerns we (legally) deal with on a daily basis: autonomy, adequate symptom control, the personal nature of suffering, conflicting values among patient, family and staff, conflict of faiths, the loss of control in the dying process, the possibility for personal growth during times of crisis. These concerns are in a complex dynamic in palliative care and so the many heated arguments about hastened death highlight the turmoil involved in caring for dying patients. This allows the general public some insight into what hospice and palliative care teams would call Wednesday afternoon.
Dan Savage wrote an editorial last week titled, "In Defense of Dignity
I Hate to Play the I-Just-Watched-My-Mother-Die Card—But, Um, I Just Watched My Mother Die." Please go read it then come back here. Pallimed linked to his eulogy for his mother last April. (An excellent read with great insight into family loss.)
His piece focuses mostly on control over the dying process and the issue of choice. I think the selection of the word 'choice' is important and I am surprised more has not been made of this initiative from the national press or even medical blogs. This would seem to be a very polarizing and political issue which would have have the press salivating, no?"Drew Rosielle MD, Member, Oct 2008
You should read the whole article.