One of the most important services that medical professionals can offer to the people they serve, I think, is to declare their offices and facilities to be “assisted suicide free zones.” Indeed, I hope that medical organizations create plaques and certificates to that doctors and health care facilities can mount on office walls.
Some hospitals are already on this bandwagon, declaring that assisted suicides will not be permitted on premises: From the story:
While Washington voters made it legal for doctors to help terminally ill residents end their lives, opponents of the assisted suicide measure indicated Wednesday they will continue to resist the practice...Eastern Washington’s largest hospital system, Providence Health and Services, will forbid physicians from helping patients die at its hospitals, nursing homes and assisted care centers.This is important. Medical professionals must resist turning killing (which means to end life) into a medical treatment. None can be forced (yet) to participate. Such modeling may save lives of people who, thanks to the continued professionals of non participating medical professionals, will never ask for assisted suicide. And it will give courage to others to resist the culture of death that this way comes.
“Providence will not support physician-assisted suicide within its ministries,” the owner of Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital said in a prepared statement. “This position is grounded in our basic values of respect for the sacredness of life, compassionate care of dying and vulnerable persons, and respect for the integrity of medical, nursing and allied health professions. We do not believe health care providers should ever be put in a position of aiding a patient in taking his or her own life.”
Of course, eventually the ideologues will try and force people to participate or be complicit in the killing, as I have written here at SHS. In the end, the culture of death brooks no dissent. But dissent we must, and resist we will.