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Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Physician-Assisted Death
Physician-assisted death is a practice by which doctors provide the means for a person with a terminal illness to voluntarily cause their own death. In most cases, the doctor prescribes lethal doses of medicine.
The doctor indirectly takes part in the person's death. But the doctor does not directly cause the death. Only a few states, such as California and Washington, have legalized physician-assisted death.
There are many reasons that a person who has a terminal illness may think about ending their life.
A person who is dying may worry about not having control over their fate or how they die. They may also worry about being helpless or a burden to others. They may not realize that loved ones want to provide care. For them, it may be a way to express their love and may be part of their own healthy grieving.
Sometimes when a person with a terminal illness thinks about physician-assisted death, their symptoms are not being managed well. But symptoms like pain and depression can be managed. Talk to your health professional and family about your symptoms. This is even more important if your symptoms bother you so much that you're thinking about ending your life.
Current as of:
February 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal MedicineJean S. Kutner MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Current as of: February 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine & Jean S. Kutner MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
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