By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
In a debate format interview on the PBS Newhour, Ira Byock, a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care for the end of life debated Barbara Coombs Lee the leader of the assisted suicide lobby group Compassion & Choices.
Byock, with reference to the Brittany Maynard story stated on PBS Newshour that:
My heart goes out to Brittany Maynard. It’s a heart-wrenching story. But I want to assure ... people watching that she could get excellent whole person care and be assured of dying gently in her bed surrounded by her family.
It’s ironic that we know how to give extremely good care, not only comprehensive medical care, but tender, loving care. But ... as the Institute of Medicine report shows, we’re just not doing it in this country. And it really is a national disgrace.
And giving doctors now authority to write lethal prescriptions fixes really nothing, none of the deficiencies in practice or medical training. It’s really a socially dangerous thing to do.
Byock then examined the reality of legalized assisted suicide.