STATEMENT ON ASSISTED SUICIDE

High Peaks Hospice & Palliative Care must be in solidarity with those who suffer, affirming the sacredness of each life, serving as a reassuring and consoling presence and a trusted guardian of the patient's deepest values.

High Peaks Hospice & Palliative Care believes that mercy should lie at the heart of how we care for the dying and that a central ingredient for that mercy is compassion for suffering with the patient.

A decision of physician assisted suicide is abandonment of that mercy, is dehumanizing, and is incompatible with the healing role of physicians and with the accepted code of medical ethics.

A plea for physician assisted suicide is a plea for better care, compassion, meaning for life, and the humanization of life's end. The appropriate response to that plea is to intensify care and intensify the assessment of sources of physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual distress. It is through such an integrated approach to end of life care that fears and suffering are eased, personal growth and preparation for death can occur, and desire for a hastened death can be minimized.