Bioethics Blogs

Suicide Certificates & Suicide Kits

James C. Salwitz is an oncologist who blogs at Sunrise Rounds.  He recently proposed a “suicide certificate” as a way to remove doctors “from the direct ordering of death” yet still “empower those who believe in suicide a legal outlet, as well as the tools to act.”

Salwitz explains:  “The suicide certificate would be a kind of application. A legal checklist, which once complete would allow the individual to die by their own hand, but in a controlled and definite manner.”

“Once the form was complete, itemized and notarized, the patient would take it to a suicide assistance registered pharmacy or perhaps a specialty funeral home, which would exchange this ultimate document for death inducing drugs.  The sealed suicide kit would come with a final instructional booklet, including safety warnings.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.