State lawmakers on Tuesday grappled with the ethics of doctor-assisted suicide, debating whether helping a terminally ill patient end his or her life violates a physician’s duties and responsibilities.(Ethics of assisted suicide debated in Senate committee. Oregon-type law would apply only to terminally ill, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 giungo 2006).
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was a prelude to a vote next week on a measure that would legalize the practice in California modeled after such a law in Oregon the only state that allows the practice.
“As a physician it’s my duty to give patients options,” Dr. Nicholas Gideonse of the Oregon Health & Science University primary care center told the committee.
“The notion that physicians know best and that the patient cannot be trusted with the ability to make good decisions about their care, even the care at the end of their lives is an outdated ethical precept,” said Gideonse who has prescribed lethal drugs for eight patients.
“Public policy is to protect all citizens, not just the ones who want to live,” said Wesley Smith, a lawyer and author of several books on assisted suicide. “Legalizing assisted suicide would be not only bad medicine but bad public policy.”
Inevitabile, come suggerisce lo stesso titolo, che il pensiero vada all’Oregon, unico Stato in cui il suicidio assistito è permesso. Il California bill, AB651, deve passare al vaglio del Senato, e poi dell’Assemblea. Il suo destino è piuttosto incerto.