Responding to Requests for Physician-Assisted Dying
Over the past year, the issue of physician-assisted death/physician aid-in-dying (PAD) has received increased attention by the media and state legislatures. When California’s End of Life Option Act takes effect, approximately one-sixth of the US population will reside in a jurisdiction where PAD is legally permitted. It is expected that bills to legalize PAD will be considered in many other states this year.
Recognizing the professional challenges members face in this evolving practice environment, the Academy has developed a new Advisory Brief that provides guidance on evaluating and responding to requests for PAD. The Advisory Brief is intended to help clinicians who care for patients with terminal illness understand the complexity of requests for assisted dying and provide an educated, systematic response while employing best practices of palliative care to help alleviate the underlying suffering that may trigger a patient’s interest in PAD.