Assisted Suicide

February 21, 1992 • Volume 2, Issue 7
Should doctors help hopelessly ill patients take their lives?
By Richard L. Worsnop


American doctors, long accustomed to preserving lives, are coming under increasing pressure to help patients end their lives. Sometimes the demand is for “assisted suicide,” in which the physician supplies a hopelessly ill patient with the means to commit suicide. There also are calls for “active euthanasia,” when the physician ends the person's life. Proponents of “aid in dying” say a person who is suffering from a painful or terminal illness has the right to medical help in cutting life short. Opponents say the practice poses ethical problems. They say that legalizing voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide could, among other things, lead to policies that sanction involuntary killing of the aged and infirm.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Right to Die
May 13, 2005  Right to Die
Sep. 05, 1997  Caring for the Dying
May 05, 1995  Assisted Suicide Controversy
Feb. 21, 1992  Assisted Suicide
Sep. 28, 1990  Right to Die: Medical, Legal & Moral Issues
Feb. 24, 1984  Medical Ethics in Life and Death
Jun. 21, 1972  Medical Ethics
Elderly Health Issues
Medical Profession and Personnel
Right to Die