Medical assistance in dying: a disruption of therapeutic relationships

Douglas T Bridge, Sinead M Donnelly and Frank P Brennan
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.12105
Published online: 21 January 2019

To the Editor: We commend William1 for his perceptive review of the complex issues involved in euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS).1 In contrast to the euphemisms in the popular media, he confronts us with some uncomfortable realities: EAS is the intentional taking of a person's life (E) or facilitating suicide (AS); doctors considering EAS may be (unconsciously) demonstrating “countertransference of their helplessness onto the patient;” and relief of all suffering is a fantasy beyond the ability of doctors, politicians and lawyers.

  • 1 Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Capital and Coast District Health Board, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • 3 Calvary Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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