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  • Introduction
  • 1. Advance Care Planning
  • 2. Communicating Bad News
  • 3. Whole Patient Assessment
  • 4. Pain Management
  • 5. Assisted Suicide Debate
  • 6. Anxiety, Delirium
  • 7. Goals of Care
  • 8. Sudden Illness
  • 9. Medical Futility
  • 10. Common Symptoms
  • 11. Withholding Treatment
  • 12. Last Hours of Living
  • 13. Cultural Issues
  • 14. Religion, Spirituality
  • 15. Legal Issues
  • 16. Social and Psychological
  • More About:

  • Hospice Care
  • Clergy and Faith Communities
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    Site Index
    Back to Module 5: Physician-Assisted Suicide Debate
    A Six Step Protocol

    Step 6: Seek Counseling From Trusted Colleagues and Advisors
    Responding to Persistent Requests

    Step 6: Consult With Colleagues

    • A request for physician-assisted suicide may be one of the most challenging situations a physician will face in his or her practice of medicine
    • Unfortunately, it is in precisely these situations that physicians may hesitate to involve someone else. Reasons for such reluctance may include:
      • Personal issues raised by the subject
      • A conviction that it is not appropriate to talk about death
      • Concerns about the legal implications of the situation
    • As requests for hastened death can have considerable personal, ethical and legal ramifications, they should not be dealt with in isolation, but rather with the support and input of at least one trusted colleague or advisor
      • This person may be:
        • A mentor
        • A peer
        • A religious advisor
        • An ethics consultant

      • Physicians may also find considerable support from
        • Nurses
        • Social workers
        • Chaplains
        • Other members of the interdisciplinary team who are involved in the patient’s care
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