Euthanasia Is Not the Answer: A Hospice Physician's View

Burton C. Einspruch, MD
JAMA. 1993;269(12):1568-1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500120106040.
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In the summer of 1992,I read, among other books about euthanasia, Derek Humphrey's controversial Final Exit. It is an unapologetic and somewhat bizarrely forthright how-to book on ending one's life. Humphrey, a news reporter, states simply that his goal was to "actually give dying people printed guidance on how to end their lives if their suffering was unbearable!"

Just as divorce has increased dramatically among the elderly, so has suicide. Suicidal wishes would be acted upon much more frequently if individuals had the physical capacity, awareness, and access to end their lives. Recent publicity has focused on an American practitioner and author, Dr Jack Kevorkian (The Goodness of a Planned Death), whose invention of a death machine to end the life of an Alzheimer's patient has received considerable support and far less condemnation from the public.

"... 'where cure is not possible, care is still needed'... "

The medical community has not,


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