Thursday, January 28, 2010

Assisted Suicide? Doctors Who Kill.

Assisted suicide is the subject of the Cambridge News vote.

It is a tragic subject, but I would not want to give doctors this power in law. Just because someone joins a caring profession does not mean that they are more equipped to care than the rest of us. For some the opportunity to fulfil an ambition or to fill a wallet is too much temptation. Mengele, Crippen, Shippen and a few others come to mind, including that paediatrician: Ayman al-Zawahiri.

This article from the New York Times concludes:

In the end, we doctors are no different than the rest of you. We probably turn killer less often than most other occupations. But our ranks have and will always include the deeply flawed, the greedy, the delusional, bunglers, rationalizers and just plain sociopaths - like every other population.


  1. Unfortunately the ayes have it so far in the vote.

    I'm especially worried about doctors being allowed to (or coerced into) assisting suicide with no legal questions asked. As Ann Widdecombe said in another context this week, "if you have a needs to be tested in court".

  2. I'm assuming you meant Shipman?

  3. Cambridge ResidentJanuary 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    I don't like the sound of evil paediatricians. I hope there aren't any in Cambridge!

    It's disturbing to think how unsavoury characters could achieve power under the veil of a respectable profession.

  4. The most megalomaniacal doctors seem to be obsessed with using their honorific titles and making sure that everyone knows they are a doctor.

    You know the type: they get the name on their credit cards changed as soon as they qualify.

    The more self-aware doctors know they are failed scientists who have a good memory - I'd sooner trust one of them!

  5. Yes, of course I meant to say Shipman.

    Shippen was the wife of Benedict Arnold. She encouraged him to betray West Point to the King's Army in return for rank and gold.

    Same motivation I suppose...

  6. Hmm. Of course, Arnold's wife is commonly referred to as a "loyalist" for her continuing support of the British King. And most attribute Arnold's defection to personal grievance, and dislike of the French treaty, rather than simple greed. But I really don't follow the phrase "same motivation". Shipman's motives remain laregly unclear, but I don't think anyone has ever blamed his wife. And presumably you are not implying that doctors will be assisting suicide in return for money and promotion (at present it seems rather the reverse).