A Physician’s Thoughts on Medical Aid in Dying

By Peter Rogatz, MD

Black and white image of a stethoscope on a white sheet.
Image by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Pixabay
  1. The patient must understand his/her condition and prognosis, which must be verified by two physicians.
  2. All reasonable palliative measures must have been presented to, and considered by, the patient.
  3. The patient must clearly and repeatedly request assistance in dying.
  4. A psychiatric consultation must be held to establish if the patient is suffering from a treatable depression.
  5. The prescribing physician, absent a close pre‑existing relationship (which would be ideal), must get to know the patient well enough to understand the reasons for her/his request.
  6. No physician should be expected to violate his/her own basic values. A physician who is unwilling to assist the patient should facilitate transfer to another physician who would be prepared to do so.
  7. All of the foregoing must be clearly documented.

EOLCNY provides advocacy, education, counseling, and support to expand end of life options and improve care for New Yorkers.