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caption: Ethicist Tom McCormick works with doctors on issues like death with dignity.
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Ethicist Tom McCormick works with doctors on issues like death with dignity.
Credit: University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Bioethics and Humanities.

Why Doctors Struggle With Death with Dignity

The doctor’s oath is to "do no harm." Some doctors have a hard time dealing with requests to help someone toward death.

Ross Reynolds speaks with Tom McCormick, a senior lecturer emeritus at the Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington, about doctors and Washington state's death with dignity law.

McCormick works with doctors on these ethical issues. Ninety-six percent of the cases in this state of assistance with dying have been in Western Washington. McCormick explains why some doctors are unwilling to provide the service, or even if they do they wish to anonymous.