Abstract 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 References 1. Sulmasy DP. Physicians, cost-control, and ethics. Ann Intern Med . 1992;116: 920-926.Crossref 2. Boyle JM. Toward understanding the principle of double effect. Ethics . 1980; 4:527-538.Crossref 3. Ramsey P. The Patient as Person . New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press; 1970.
Archives of Internal Medicine – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 24, 1995