Sunday, September 11, 2005

Request for Death

This is a conversation I overheard between a patient and a doctor. What are your thoughts on the doctor's responses to this particular patient?

Patient: Can you just kill me?

MD: No.

Patient: That's too bad.

MD: For one, it's illegal. And for two, the Hippocratic Oath prevents doctors from doing that. But we can relieve suffering.

Patient: Oh, good!

MD: Any questions?

Patient: Yes! How can I die?

You may want to check out that link to the hippocratic oath if you haven't already read it.

Now that you've read the scenario, I will provide you with some background information about this patient. She has a history of a stroke that left her wheel-chair-bound and that altered her personality, making her a bit cantankerous at times. Her husband died two years ago and she has just been diagnosed with a curable type of cancer. Does knowing these details change your thoughts any?

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