Hostility Towards Assisted Suicide

by jmckoymarchand on Octobre 18, 2013 - 8:50pm

Hostility Towards Assisted Suicide


The article “Anti-Euthanasia Doctors Hostile to Quebec’s Assisted Suicide Bill” on behalf of CBC News highlights the present situation concerning Bill 52, the bill proposed by Quebec in which aims to legalize assisted suicide. The purpose of this article intends to inform the general public that the assisted suicide debate is far from one sided as physicians are shown to be in strong disagreement towards this bill. Furthermore, the article conveys the impression of persuading society into second guessing Bill 52 as another other option is introduced in the article which does not resort to euthanasia.


Bill 52 has shown to be supported by many; however, there are also a lot of people who happen to be on the opposite side of the debate as well. Although assisted suicide has obtained the support of all four parties of the province’s national assembly, they’re opposed by many of the doctors working in the field who will be expected to act upon the suicidal requests of the patients. Nevertheless, Bill 52 shall not oblige any physician to do so out of coercion/force, but it will require those physicians to seek willing doctors. Dr. Gerald Van Gurp, a Montreal family doctor who specializes in palliative care for terminally ill patients states “I don’t want to continue in [this] field if the law passes […]”. He explains that patients who request help in dying are most of the time in psychological turmoil and physical pain. Consequently, he states that “in his 30 years of practise he’s rarely encountered a case where a patient’s pain cannot be relieved” and that these cases of relief have been due to the supportive relationships on behalf of doctors and nurses. The implication here is that Van Gurp doesn't feel the need to introduce euthanasia, but to introduce high quality palliative care instead.


One can see that the main point, and quite arguably the only point that supports the author(s) idea, having doctors in disagreement of the bill, is the first quote stated by Dr. Van Gurp above. The quote mentioned serves as a clear illustration that supports the idea that physicians are hostile towards the bill. It furthermore implies strong feelings as this doctor in particular is supposedly ready to leave the field he’s been working in for 30 years if the bill were to pass. All in all, this issue makes for an immense social issue because this bill would supposedly serve as an “enormous door” that would completely “revolutionize ethics and law” according to Dr. Marc Beauchamp, an orthopedic surgeon who serves as the spokesman of the alliance consisting of the anti-euthanasia doctors. Another reason is that it’s an issue that can affect many people. This is because the population grows older, and as it does, lots of people may or may not have the option to end their own life if this bill were to eventually pass in the future.


     I am one to believe in the right to autonomy and the pursuit of our own best interests. I don’t understand why politics are put in place to interfere in the decision of ending one’s own life. That being said, I think people should rightfully decide what happens to their own body. After all, I think it’s safe and reasonable to say that people know what’s best for themselves and if euthanasia turns out to be one of those things for certain people, then I think they’re in the best position to decide as opposed to anything or anyone else.

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