As a practicing physician for many years, I disagree with Dr. Roger Kligler’s call for legalized assisted suicide (“Why doctors support the option of medical aid in dying,” My View, July 25).
I support the long-standing position of the American Medical Association that assisted suicide is “fundamentally incompatible with the role of physician as healer.” Patients must trust that their doctor is on their side, and never acting on the assumption that the patient would be “better off dead.”
Dr. Kligler cites uncontrolled pain as the primary reason to legalize assisted suicide, yet uncontrolled pain is not the No. 1 reason people choose assisted suicide. Of patients who died by assisted suicide in Oregon last year, 54% felt like a burden to family or caregivers. And, in our broken health care system, insurance companies have incentives to deny curative but expensive care when suicide is an option.
Read more at the Cape Cod Times…