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Discontinuation of Dialysis Is Not Euthanasia-Reply

Discontinuation of Dialysis Is Not Euthanasia-Reply Abstract In reply The debate on euthanasia dates to ancient times.1 The definition of the terms surrounding this topic has also been controversial.2 Although Karlawish and Siegler are associated with a renowned center for clinical medical ethics, we submit that the withdrawal of life support is a form of euthanasia, although we may have added the adjective passive.3 We used the word unique to describe the discontinuation of dialysis. Interestingly, the term euthanasia is borrowed from the Greek,4 meaning a good death, which is the subtitle (albeit in the form of a question) of an article by Cohen et al.5 We therefore were referring to the general topic of easing the dying process.Karlawish and Siegler also discuss the issue of intent, to distinguish between killing and letting die. We believe that it is not as simple and straightforward as they state: "When a physician withdraws References 1. Emanuel EJ. Euthanasia: historical, ethical, and empiric perspectives. Arch Intern Med . 1994;154:1890-1901.Crossref 2. Jonsen AR, Siegler M, Winsdale WJ. Quality of life. In: Clinical Ethics . 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International Book Co; 1992:85-120. 3. Carlson RW, Shahryar SK. Quality of death after discontinuation of dialysis. Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:13.Crossref 4. Brody BA. Suicide and Euthanasia . Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1989. 5. Cohen LM, McCue JD, Germain M, Kjellstrand CM. Dialysis discontinuation: a 'good' death? Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:42-47.Crossref 6. Pijnenborg L, van der Maas PJ, Kardaun JWPF, Glerum JJ, van Delden JJM, Looman CWN. Withdrawal or withholding of treatment at the end of life: results of a nationwide study. Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:286-292.Crossref http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of Internal Medicine American Medical Association

Discontinuation of Dialysis Is Not Euthanasia-Reply

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-9926
eISSN
1538-3679
DOI
10.1001/archinte.1995.00430150177020
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract In reply The debate on euthanasia dates to ancient times.1 The definition of the terms surrounding this topic has also been controversial.2 Although Karlawish and Siegler are associated with a renowned center for clinical medical ethics, we submit that the withdrawal of life support is a form of euthanasia, although we may have added the adjective passive.3 We used the word unique to describe the discontinuation of dialysis. Interestingly, the term euthanasia is borrowed from the Greek,4 meaning a good death, which is the subtitle (albeit in the form of a question) of an article by Cohen et al.5 We therefore were referring to the general topic of easing the dying process.Karlawish and Siegler also discuss the issue of intent, to distinguish between killing and letting die. We believe that it is not as simple and straightforward as they state: "When a physician withdraws References 1. Emanuel EJ. Euthanasia: historical, ethical, and empiric perspectives. Arch Intern Med . 1994;154:1890-1901.Crossref 2. Jonsen AR, Siegler M, Winsdale WJ. Quality of life. In: Clinical Ethics . 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill International Book Co; 1992:85-120. 3. Carlson RW, Shahryar SK. Quality of death after discontinuation of dialysis. Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:13.Crossref 4. Brody BA. Suicide and Euthanasia . Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1989. 5. Cohen LM, McCue JD, Germain M, Kjellstrand CM. Dialysis discontinuation: a 'good' death? Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:42-47.Crossref 6. Pijnenborg L, van der Maas PJ, Kardaun JWPF, Glerum JJ, van Delden JJM, Looman CWN. Withdrawal or withholding of treatment at the end of life: results of a nationwide study. Arch Intern Med . 1995;155:286-292.Crossref

Journal

Archives of Internal MedicineAmerican Medical Association

Published: Aug 7, 1995

References