As a physician I believe my job is to assist the body in healing. I cannot heal. I am an informed assistant and no more. The trauma of death is mostly a problem for the living, but is necessary to complete the circle of life. The ceremonies and traditions surrounding death are a means for the living to understand and be comforted. This need is reflected in the opposition to suicide and assisted suicide.
How do you want to die? In an ICU or in your own bed? I vote for my own bed with my family close. I don’t believe the government or religion should have any say in how I choose to die. I alone have the right to choose when my life ends. The reasons for my choice are irrelevant. I alone am responsible for my passage out. If I choose to die while others think I have many years of productive life to live, so be it. Its my life after all.
Physicians should give good evidence based advice and allow their patients to complete the circle on their own terms. Every physician should be allowed to legally write a lethal prescription, if their patient so requests. The owner of the body gets to decide in what direction the assistance should go.
What are your wishes? What are your thoughts? Make your wishes known early and often.