What are the emotional consequences of performing assisted death?

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  • larry Archer says:

    My much loved sister died at age 42 of lung cancer from her husbands second hand smoke. Her death was horrible but God in his mercy made sure I wasn’t a witness to her death. I was at the airport to picking up another family member. But Daryl was a born again Christian as I am, so when my life is over we’ll be together again in Heaven, that’s the hope of all Christians according to the Bible…

  • Harriet MacNeil says:

    I think this is great. I have been suffering in pain for over 30 years and very ill and tired.I have double lung cancer,a damaged heart from radiation multiple sclerosis.broken neck bones(spurs) osteoporosis,chronic pain,and the list goes on! This will be like a gift to me to be rid of pain No energy,no hope. All I want is to go home too my maker.My doctor knows I suffer because he has known me for 20 years.please help the people that need this done!Much respect goes out to Doctors that have a heart to help the sick and dying. Thankyou

  • sam plover says:

    To not be able to ‘break down’ is a very unhealthy practice and believe me, it takes practice. It really turns into emotional stuffing and runs with risks. Risks to patients, because doctors are not human then.
    This practice is taught in med school early on, but it is disguised by talking about rational empathy.
    So in effect you are taught and practicing something you are not and that is nothing less than psychologically screwed up.
    try as you may, you cannot evoke emotional response from emotionally unavailable people. And most emotionally unavailable people in their hearts believe they have emotions and emotions they have when it tickles the right bone, or it is about a certain something. Emotional unavailability to others or being able to show a complete ‘melt down’ is either superhuman or something is very amiss.
    And hospitals are FULL of this malady, although they might think they are in control of their own accord, it is most likely that it is just simply a trait.
    This makes communicating impossible, as you cannot communicate with people who are busy controlling emotion or lack them altogether.
    To foster that garbage as ideal and shun a colleague for crying is barbaric and inhumane and truly shows something dark and hidden or void. Better to be dark and hidden than void i suppose.
    Guess who needs a mental examination, the doc who cries, or the docs who are stoic with fake empathy. Empathy is felt, pretenses are felt.
    Lucy, you are the normal member of the ‘herd’. For your own sake, stay as you are.
    I think for people who have proper emotions, life and death will have an affect and the doctors should be able to not just ‘debrief’, but be true to their natures. No one should be afraid to show emotion.
    Will we become a society where it is seen as the wrong thing to do and we all raise our children in this untrue manner?

  • Lucy says:

    “George*, a physician who has performed assisted death in Ontario, says the “macho culture” of medicine makes it harder for physicians to reach out for help. He himself had a debrief at his hospital, yet processed his feelings in private. “I don’t feel comfortable showing emotion in front of the team, in front of my colleagues,” he says.”

    I once revealed my feelings, and showed emotion, in front of my colleagues. They treated me differently after that — I was no longer part of the herd, no longer seen as reliable. It felt a lot like being shunned.

  • R. Naught says:

    In some untold ways, @ times – we walk these same experiences through veil of Hospice Rx admin.


Vanessa Milne


Vanessa is a freelance health journalist and a form staff writer with Healthy Debate

Debra Bournes


Dr. Debra Bournes is the Chief Nursing Executive and Vice-President of Clinical Programs at The Ottawa Hospital.

Jeremy Petch


Jeremy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and has a PhD in Philosophy (Health Policy Ethics) from York University. He is the former managing editor of Healthy Debate and co-founded Faces of Healthcare

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