Medical Journal of Australia, May 2017
We should aim at improving the care of dying patients
Modern debates about legalising euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in Great Britain and the United States began in the late 19th century.1Legislation was periodically proposed only to be defeated until, in 1942, Switzerland decriminalised assistance in suicide for cases when there were no “selfish motives”.2 In 2002, euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands and Belgium, then in Luxembourg in 2009, and most recently, in 2015 in Colombia and in 2016 in Canada.3 PAS, but not euthanasia, has been legalised in five US states. In Oregon, PAS was legalised by popular referendum in 1997. In addition, in 2009, Washington State legalised PAS by referendum and Montana by court ruling; Vermont in 2013 and California in 2015 also legalised PAS by legislation.4
JAMA, May 2017
This Viewpoint argues that there are sufficient numbers of primary care physicians in the United States and that any appearance of a shortage is attributable to factors such as unequal geographic distribution and management inefficiencies.