Hope, compassion, and care: reflections of a future physician

Having witnessed for 13 years the debilitating effects of ALS, a non-curable neurodegenerative disorder, on the life of a late friend and mentor, I knew early in my medical training that medicine itself cannot cure all illnesses.  My aspiration as a physician is to offer hope, compassion, and care to patients, even when there is no possibility for a cure.  I want to be able to help my patients by working as a team in the hopes of finding an effective treatment strategy.  I did not enter the profession of medicine to facilitate a suffering patient’s request to undergo a procedure that is designed to kill, and neither do I want to be put in a position where my patient or my fellow consulting colleagues can demand that of me.  In order to establish credibility and trust – the foundations to an effective therapeutic doctor-patient relationship – my patients must believe, albeit subconsciously, that I value their life, even if they see no worth to their own lives.  The availability of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide would irreversibly corrupt this fundamental core principle of medicine to the detriment of both the patient and the physician who acts on the patient’s behalf.  I cannot endorse Bill C-384 for the devastating consequences it will have on our country and the integrity of the medical profession.

MD Candidate, Class 2010

Posted in: Blogroll on April 4th by shannon

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