The bills being discussed in Maine’s legislature, LD 347 and LD 1066 are bad for the patient and bad for the medical profession. When we approach a physician it is for care, out of a respect for their education and skills, and with the assurance that they will lend their expertise to manage an illness or perhaps cure it. The relationship is built on trust, a unique relationship that rarely enters into any other professional encounter.

With LD 347 and LD 1066 all trust gets thrown out the window. No longer will patients feel secure in the physician-patient relationship. Doubts will linger at the back of a patient’s mind. And this doubt would enter into any advice or therapy given by any physician. Will patients feel bullied? Patients would need to find trusted family members or ombudsmen who will advocate for them.

If we stood outside a hospital and asked the patients entering it if they wanted to live or die, it would be difficult to find someone who would say to die. As a retired physician I strongly object to LD 347 and LD 1066. Many physicians no longer take the Hippocratic Oath but the words “Above all do no harm” are etched on people’s hearts.

Mary A. Nicholas, MD, Rockland