Hopkins Doctor: PAS is Unethical and Dangerous

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In case you missed it, coalition member Dr. Joseph Marine, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, authored an Op-Ed that was published in the Baltimore Sun on February 18th, where he spoke about how unethical and dangerous physician-assisted suicide is. You can read Dr. Marine’s full Op-Ed by clicking here.

While out-of-state interest groups continue to push the same, misguided proposal for physician-assisted suicide, we hope the General Assembly listens to the serious concerns from the Maryland healthcare community. Dr. Marine could not have made this argument any better:

“PAS is not medical care. It has no basis in medical science or medical tradition. It is not taught in medical schools or residency training programs. The drug concoctions used to end patients’ lives with PAS come from the euthanasia movement and not from the medical profession or medical research.

PAS is dangerous. The supposed “safeguards” in the bill are an illusion. There is still no requirement for formal psychiatric evaluation of patients, minimal informed consent, no witnesses to consumption of drugs required, no routine audits or impartial 3rd party oversight. In addition, physicians and other participants are given broad legal immunity and records are excluded from legal discovery or subpoena. There is no accountability. For 80 percent of patients, it is unknown if complications occurred (because of a lack of medical witnesses). Doctors experimenting with novel PAS drug cocktails in Washington state caused some patients to “scream in pain” before dying.

PAS is discriminatory. PAS laws create a new class of human beings denied the protection of the law and of health professionals who are committed to preserving rather than taking life. Suicidal impulses of everyone else in society are treated with crisis intervention. Patients defined under PAS laws are denied such crisis intervention and instead tacitly or explicitly encouraged to take their own lives. Also, almost all disability rights organizations in the United States oppose PAS.

PAS will affect everyone. If we allow this form of euthanasia into our health care system, it will inevitably corrode and destroy the values that define the health professions and lead to public trust in them. PAS has led to wider forms of euthanasia in every country that has adopted it. No one will be immune to its long term corrosive and destructive effects on the health care system.”

We want to thank everyone who has helped us fight against this legislation, but it has not been defeated yet. Please make sure to follow us on social media and sign up to receive our email newsletter so that you can stay well informed on this fight!

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