Essay about Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician Assisted Suicide

1. A request for assisted Suicide is typically a cry for help. It is in reality a call for counseling, assistance, and positive alternatives as solutions for very real problems.
2. Suicidal Intent is typically transient. Of those who attempt suicide but are stopped, less than 4 percent go on to kill themselves in the next five years; less than 11 percent will commit suicide over the next 35 years.
3.Terminally Ill patients who desire death are depressed and depression is treatable In those with terminal illness. In one study, of the 24 percent of terminally ill patients who desired death, all had clinical depression.
4. Pain is controllable. Modern medicine has the ability to control pain. A person
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Before beginning, I would like to preface my remarks with one disclaimer. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine, on the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Additionally, I serve as Medical Director of our in-patient hospice and palliative care unit. Moreover, I serve on the board of our local hospice organization, Hospice of the Piedmont, where I also serve as Associate Medical Director. Though my work with these organizations has greatly enhanced nd deepened my commitment to the care of the terminally ill, I in no way claim to speak for or on behalf of any of the institutions for which I serve. The opinions expressed below and in my written testimony are entirely my own.
Ladies and gentlemen of this committee, I am a physician who spends a significant part of his working day caring for terminally ill people and their families. It is work which I find ennobling, enriching, rewarding, and -- unfortunately -- sorely underrepresented in my profession. I come in contact almost daily with desperately ill people, with poorly managed symptoms, turning to our profession for help in their final days and weeks. It is these very patients -- the terminally ill, those in desperate pain, the isolated na marginalized on our society -- whom proponents of assisted-suicide would now have us "aid" toward what is

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