July 24, 1995

Managed Death?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(14):1554-1555. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430140134018

In reply  Eisman's letter consists of a string of ad hominem arguments that are both invalid and unsound. I will respond to each of his points in turn.While he seems to think otherwise, I practice medicine actively. Therefore, all references to differences between the "ivory tower" and the "trenches" are simply false. I had just finished disclosing a diagnosis of esophageal cancer to a 47-year-old man before reading Eisman's letter. I will not offer this man assisted suicide, but this does not mean that I will abandon him.Eisman suggests that it is incorrect to draw the same moral conclusion about Quill and Kevorkian. But both believe that assisted suicide is sometimes morally justified when terminally ill patients complain that their suffering has become unbearable. Therefore, even though Quill's modus operandi may be more appealing, it is clear that the difference between the views of these two men is

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