Dr Oz: Do Doctors Have A Moral Responsibility? Dr Devon Webster


Dr Oz: Moral Responsibility of Doctors

In this segment, the debate continued.  Dr Oz introduced Dr. Devon Webster, MD Cancer Specialist.  Dr. Webster is living with MS.  She also took care of patients with cancer and has gone through chemo herself.  When her patients come to her to consider the Death With Dignity Act, Dr. Webster felt “proud” to discuss it with them.  She also felt that she had not defied the Hippocratic Oath.  Dr. Ablow is appalled that she would do this, stating that he would not want a doctor who was an expert in ending life.  Dr. Ablow went as far as suggesting that Dr. Webster was not a good doctor if she discussed ending life with her patients.  (The discussion really got heated here.)

Dr Oz & Dr Devon Webster

Dr. Webster was saddened that he felt that way, but that Dr. Ablow cannot tell her or anyone else what suffering is. Dr Oz Doctors Moral Responsibility Dr. Ablow stated that people already have the choice of living or dying inherently.  It is the doctor that should be in the service of preserving life.  Dr. Ablow stated that a doctor (or anyone else) does not have the ability to know what people will feel later on in their lives.  Doctors should embrace the Hippocratic Oath and Dana should be around to motivate someone else.  (This garnered plenty of reactions from audience members.) Montel argued that Dana shouldn’t have to be the poster child for anyone else and that it should be Dana’s choice.

Dr Oz & Dr Barbara Coombs Lee

Dr. Barbara Coombs Lee is the president of Compassion and Choices.  Dr. Lee stated that her foundation does not advocate aid in dying.  Compassion and Choices is for people that don’t have the choice between life and death.  The people she advocates for are terminally ill and are staring death in the face.  They are going to die.

Dr Oz & Dr Ira Bycock

Dr. Ira Bycock, Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, stated that Dana’s condition is giving her a way to die gently and NATURALLY.  According to Dr. Ira Bycock, alleviating suffering is different than alleviating the sufferer.


  1. Kris Mitchell says

    I think if Dr. Ablow ever had family members in extreme pain with loss of dignity at the end of their lives, he would have a different opinion. As I have gone through this with both of my parents, I feel doctors are doing harm by prolonging a persons life and suffering when the end is near. I had my mother begging me to let her go home to God,and I could do nothing to help her. She lingered for weeks. Dr. Ablow seemed very arrogant and unfeeling to what should be a very personal, case by case decision. I was frankly appalled by his attitude.
    Thank you, Kris Mitchell

  2. Kris Mitchell says

    I also have a added response to the question put to Dana about allowing her to die by not having her secretions sucked out, or stopping the anti-biotics or a tube to help her. This is still just making her suffer at the end by struggling to breathe, and more pain, until her body gives out. Why should a person have to go through that. I am sure that is what was holding her back on her answer. That is what they did to my Dad, and he went on for two weeks, lingering as his body gradually shut down. It was horrible watching him go through that.
    Thank you, Kris Mitchell

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