The inalienable right of a patient to choose life or death is the issue. Physicians and surgeons with years of training to save life have no desire to lose the final struggle. The social, legal and moral issues must be addressed in reasonable, logical laws and legislation to guide us all in the proper manner to deliver the care and humanity to the unfortunate so affected and afflicted. The very private pact and relationship between the physician, the patient and/or family must be primary with no outside judgments.
Now retired and after 40 years of experience as an active trauma surgeon, I know what suffering and death are about. The hopelessly terminal patient, whatever the case, needs relief from pain and suffering. They have the right to choose. The Hippocratic Oath requires no less. No mythology, but rather pragmatic, logical, reasonable, dispassionate solutions.
FRANK H. RUSSELL, M.D.
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