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January 24, 2006

Bad Medicine

Rabbi Avi Shafran has a column in today's Jewish World Review that, while directed primarily toward a Jewish readership, discusses a topic that should be of concern to all.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law was really about whether a federal drug-control law provided a U.S. Attorney General the authority to punish a state's doctors for acting in accordance with a state statute. But by contending that physician-assisted suicide is a "legitimate medical purpose" for the prescription of a drug, there can be little doubt that the ruling helped bring the idea of abetting suicide a bit closer to mainstream thinking. That's a deeply unfortunate thing.

As it happened, the decision came exactly seven days after a New Jersey nurse who has confessed to killing 29 people decided to stop cooperating with investigators. Charles Cullen maintains that he has killed up to 40 people, many of them old and ailing hospital patients whom he injected with lethal doses of drugs — like those that Oregon doctors have used to end the lives of more than 200 people.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Seth at January 24, 2006 06:05 AM