Washington State’s assisted suicide controversy continues to burn. Articles keep coming out complaining that patients who legally qualify for help in killing themselves are being refused, while hospitals and physicians continue to exercise their right under the law to opt out. From the latest story:
Providence St. Peter Hospital and Capital Medical Center officials said Thursday that the hospitals will not participate in physician-assisted suicide under the state’s new Death with Dignity law, but instead will refer terminally ill patients to their primary doctors.
Providence Health and Services spokeswoman Karina Jennings said Thursday that the same standard applies for all of its medical facilities and nursing homes in Washington and Oregon. The key reason: Providence is a Catholic health care organization, and physician-assisted suicide is “not a path conducive to our values,” she said. “We don’t believe that health care providers should be put in the position of taking someone’s life,” Jennings said…
Providence hospitals are notifying patients through the Vital Signs newsletter and through paperwork filled out at the time of admission, Jennings said. She said the hospitals will encourage hospice and palliative care but will draw the line at suicide.
Good. Primary care physicians should also say no, so that only death doctors associated with Compassion and Choices do the deed. That would not only keep the number of assisted suicides lower–as it has in Oregon–but it also has the beauty of truth: If Kevorkianism is going to be legalized, lets at least make sure it is seen for precisely what it is.