Monday, September 18, 2006

Calling It Quits

For the physician, we are bound by the Hippocratic Oath:
I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.
But with the ever-increasing economic burden of health care, realization of the irreparable and irreversible nature of some illnesses, and desire for many people to look for "control" of their last days, it is no wonder this Swiss organization is gaining such popularity. And although investigated for a least one inappropriate death, their doors remain open.

While the world looks at "shock" with this Swiss organization's approach, we must not be too quick to judge. Most doctors I know understand when it's time to call it quits; we just have another name for this process.

In America, we call this "hospice."


PS: The irony? The Swiss organization is run by a lawyer, Ludwig Minelli.

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