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Harm Done: Codifying the decline of the medical profession

Wesley Smith

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In 2000, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that patients being euthanized in the Netherlands sometimes experienced significant side effects (apart from death, that is), such as nausea, convulsions, or coma. This belied the assertion oft made by euthanasia proponents that being killed by a doctor necessarily provides the euphemistic "gentle landing" of euthanasia lore.

Responding to the Netherlands report, the NEJM published an editorial authored by Dr. Sherwin Nuland, author of the bestselling book How We Die and an internationally prominent physician and bioethicist from Yale University. Nuland, a supporter of euthanasia in limited cases, proposed a remedy: that doctors be provided "thorough training in [euthanasia] techniques." Yes, you read right: One of the country's most celebrated doctors urged that continuing medical education classes teach doctors how to kill.

Such "how to kill your patients" classes would clearly violate the famous Hippocratic Oath under which doctors have for some 2,500 years pledged, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect."

Read the entire article on the National Review website (new window will open).

Posted: 10-Mar-06



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