The issue of continuous deep (to-unconsciousness) sedation (CDS) to relieve suffering has been discussed in the literature and, indeed, used in clinical practice for a number of years. Two recent articles prompted this brief post…
For our purposes, we should note that while a minority of all patients receiving continuous deep sedation (CDS) do so for psycho-existential suffering (8.5%), and only one for solely this type of suffering… the VAST majority of these patients (78.6%) also desired “hastened death.”
So, it seems that we have a patient who is suffering and wishes to end his/her life. Then, the doctor administers a medication (with the express purpose of inducing CDS) that renders that patient incapable of eating/drinking… until the patient dies. It is far from clear how one could claim that this is anything other than euthanasia.
We very much appreciate the balanced approach of Drs. Dalle Ave and Sulmasy. Finding a balance between the maintenance of consciousness and the relief of otherwise intractable (perhaps “non-beneficial”) suffering is often difficult…and always important.
Catholic Medical Association Condemns Oregon’s Removal of Residency Requirements for Physician Assisted Suicide
Philadelphia, PA -April 4, 2022- Catholic Medical Association, which strongly opposes Physician Assisted Suicide, today condemned the State of Oregon’s decision to no longer enforce residency requirements for patients seeking euthanasia.
“Removing the residency requirement from Oregon’s so called ‘Death with Dignity Act’ further undermines the dignity and sanctity of life. Inviting people from across state lines to come to Oregon to end their lives is not aligned with good medical care,” said Craig Treptow, M.D., President of CMA.
CMA advocates for the respect of life in all of its stages and this includes ensuring dignified end-of-life care.
“The State of Oregon has now extended its promotion of assisted suicide beyond its borders, inviting residents of other states to die with Oregon’s help. Every state has physicians and other health care professionals, including the members of CMA, that believe every patient deserves better than what Oregon offers,” said Tim Millea, M.D., Chair of CMA’s Health Care Policy Committee.
### The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of 2,400 healthcare professionals consisting of 115 local guilds. CMA’s mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine. Jill Blumenfeld firstname.lastname@example.org cathmed.org
Co-Chair of CMA’s Ethics Committe, Greg Burke, M.D., previously explained that a physician’s role is not to abandon a patient at the end of their life, but to “caringly walk with the patient through that uncertainty, alleviating suffering, while providing every opportunity for meaningful living as one prepares for death.”
CMA urges Oregon to reconsider its position on Physician Assisted Suicide and restore dignity for its patients and their families.
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