Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Euthanasia and Senicide - Historical Background, The Modern Argument, The Ethical Rationale Of Peter Singer, Conclusion

Euthanasia and Senicide - Conclusion

physician suicide assisted care york

All relationships in a society are affected when society abandons infirm elderly persons and treats them as expendable. The Eskimo tribes that practiced senicide also were often obliged by the need for good hunters to practice female infanticide; more fortunately situated inland Eskimos, such as the Ihalmiut, who practiced neither, had a sense of their own antiquity, were more socially cohesive, and appear to have led happier lives (Mowat).

Americans are not, nor even with an increase in the elderly population are they likely to be, in the desperate situation of the Shoshone or the Ahnta. Providing the care needed by elderly persons who are seriously or terminally ill will, however, require improving the education of physicians in palliative care, removing regulations that restrict the ways in which physicians can treat pain, widening the availability of hospice care, fostering proper reimbursement for end-of-life care, and passing better-crafted surrogacy laws that, while protecting incompetent patients, also permit proxies to see to it that inappropriate treatments may be withdrawn from them. If all this is done, assisted suicide and euthanasia will not seem a necessary option to elderly patients and the issue of legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia will become less relevant.

HERBERT HENDIN

See also AUTONOMY; COMPETENCY; PAIN MANAGEMENT; PALLIATIVE CARE; REFUSING AND WITHDRAWING MEDICAL TREATMENT.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BERKOWITZ, P. "The Utilitarian Horrors of Peter Singer: Other People's Mothers." The New Republic, January 10, 2000, pp. 27–36.

DE LAGUNA, F., and MCCLELLAN, C. "Ahtna." In Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 6, Subarctic. Edited by June Helm. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1983. Pages 641–663.

GALLAGHER, H. G. By Trust Betrayed. Arlington, Va.: Vandamere Press, 1995.

HENDIN H. Seduced by Death: Doctors, Patients, and Assisted Suicide. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998.

HENDIN, H.; FOLEY, K.; and WHITE, M. "Physician-Assisted Suicide: Reflections on Oregon's First Case." Issues in Law and Medicine 14 (1998): 243–270.

HENDIN, H.; RUTENFRANS, C.; and ZYLICZ, Z. "Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Lessons from the Dutch." Journal of the American Medical Association 277 (1997): 1720–1722.

HUMPHRY, D., and CLEMENT, M. Freedom to Die: People, Politics, and the Right-to-Die Movement. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

MOWAT, F. The Desperate People. Boston: Little Brown, 1959.

SINGER, P. Practical Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

SLATER, E. "Choosing the Time to Die." In Suicide: The Philosophical Issues. Edited by Margaret P. Battin and David May. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. Pages 199–204.

STEWARD, J. H. "Changes in Shoshonean Indian Culture." Scientific Monthly 49 (1939): 524–537.

THOMAS, L. "Dying as Failure?" American Political Science Review 444 (1984): 1–4.

Vacco v. Quill. 521 U.S. 793 (1997).

VAN DER MAAS, P. J.; VAN DELDEN, J. J. M.; and PIJNENBORG, L. Euthanasia and Other Medical Decisions Concerning the End of Life. New York: Elsevier Science, 1992.

VAN DER MAAS, P. J.; VAN DER WAL, G.; and HAVERKATE I. et al. "Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Other Medical Practices Involving the End of Life in the Netherlands. 1990–1995." New England Journal of Medicine 335 (1996): 1699–1705.

WASSERMAN, D. "Passive Euthanasia in Response to Attempted Suicide: One Form of Aggression by Relatives." Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 79 (1989): 460–467.

[back] Euthanasia and Senicide - The Ethical Rationale Of Peter Singer

User Comments

The following comments are not guaranteed to be that of a trained medical professional. Please consult your physician for advice.

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or