Web Exclusive: Physician Assisted Suicide, Death, & Dying in Social Work

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Substantive difference between PAS and Euthanasia

I disagree that PAS and Euthanasia mean the same thing or even nearly the same thing, even if the result for the individual is the same. The decision by PAS is made by the person who will die and the person who will die takes action to die. Euthanasia means the physician is in charge of the decision and the action to cause death and the individual/family may or may not have a say in the matter. This is a very important legal and sometimes moral distinction. The book Five Days at Memorial, which is about what happened at Memorial Hospital in NOLA after Katrina discusses euthanasia as it might happen in "real life" today. What happened there is nothing like what Physician Assisted Suicide looks like. The film Suicide Tourist on PBS is a good example of physician (and social worker) assisted suicide.

Alishia Ferguson more than 2 years ago

Thank you

Alishia, thank you for your comment and the additional resources on these important topics.

SocialWorker.com more than 2 years ago

First paragraph edited

The first paragraph of this article has been edited to say that the three terms are related. The original intent was to state that the terms are used differently in different locations. We encourage all readers to do their own research to learn more about these issues in their own countries and the implications for their own social work practice.

SocialWorker.com more than 2 years ago

Real World Clinical Social Work

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