Comment: A physician’s perspective on assisted suicide

Comment: A physician’s perspective on assisted suicide

I am a retired kidney specialist. I have witnessed the deaths of hundreds of patients throughout my career. Fortunately, the vast majority of these deaths were peaceful, painless and occurred a few days after dialysis therapy was discontinued.

Alas, this is very different than in many other areas of medicine, such as cancer care and neurology. These dying patients often have a horrible exit from this world. For some, current palliation practices do not address their needs, leading to their intolerable suffering. They seek an obvious alternative, namely death. This is one of the situations in medicine where the patient decides that death is preferable to life.
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