Intracranial hemorrhage has been found to occur in one of every 860 vacuum-assisted deliveries compared with one of every 1,900 spontaneous deliveries (a statistically significant difference). 6 Yet, the comparative rate of intracranial hemorrhage is not statistically different when vacuum extraction, forceps delivery and cesarean section during labor are compared. It is possible that the abnormal labor that necessitated the assisted delivery may be an underlying cause for a portion of the morbidity attributed to operative deliveries. 6
Dr. Daniel Sulmasy is the Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he serves as associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and as director of the Program on Medicine and Religion. Sulmasy was appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues by President Obama in 2010. His research interests encompass both theoretical and empirical investigations of the ethics of end-of-life decision-making, ethics education and spirituality in medicine. He is the author or editor of six books, including Safe Passage: A Global Spiritual Sourcebook for Care at the End of Life . He also serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics .
The United States Supreme Court cited the American Medical Association’s conclusion that “[p]hysician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.” Similarly, the New York State Task Force on Life unanimously concluded that “[l]egalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia would pose profound risks to many individuals who are ill and vulnerable.” The Court concluded that physician-assisted suicide could undermine the trust that is essential to the doctor-patient relationship by blurring the time-honored line between healing and harming.