(Reps. Brad Wenstrup and Phil Roe) – Do no harm.” Three short words, but to physicians they represent a sacred charge. Three short words that now hang in the balance here in the District of Columbia, after the D.C. council passed the Death with Dignity Act (Act 21-577), legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the nation’s capital.
In authorizing doctors to violate the Hippocratic oath of “do no harm,” physician-assisted suicide undermines a key safeguard that protects our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and helps to ensure our loved ones receive the best medical care when they need it most.
As doctors, we are concerned about providing care and comfort to those facing the heart-wrenching difficulty of dealing with a terminal disease. It is an issue close to our hearts. However, for patients with terminal diseases who are not seeking treatment and instead coping with the complexities of end-of-life preparations, there are already a myriad of end-of-life care options currently at a patient’s disposal. CONTINUE