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Physician Assisted Suicide in America Essay

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Anyone suffering from a terminal illness or has watched a family member or close friend suffer, probably believes in the Death with Dignity Act. According to the state of Oregon, (Oregon Death with Dignity Act Records & Reports”) “on October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose. The Oregon Death with Dignity Act requires the Oregon Department of Human Services to collect information about the patients and physicians who participate in the Act, and publish an annual statistical report.” The fear and uncertainty of what happens after death will usually weigh heavily on a patient’s decision to terminate his or her life. It is a choice that should be left to the patient; however, if the patient is unable to communicate, the decision left the next of kin or guardian.
Some politicians, religious fanatics and pro-life activists would argue that physician assisted suicide violates the Hippocratic Oath, but most of these people never suffered the pain and indignity of dying slowly. Between 1997 and 2007 at least 292 (Fogarty) people have ended their own life under the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. People have protested the decision of allowing assisted suicide in most states and foreign countries that have considered legalizing it. The Hippocratic Oath states (“Oath and Law of Hippocrates”) that doctors will not administer or suggest the use of deadly drugs even if a patient asks for them. All doctors must take the oath swearing to practice medicine ethically. Doctors that dishonor the oath aren’t generally punished unless they break the law.
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... one day will, be up to that person.



Works Cited

Oregon Death with Dignity Act Records & Reports. , Web. 6 Dec 2010.
Fogarty, Collin. "Oregon's Death With Dignity Law Turns 10." October 24, 2007. Web. 6 Dec 2010.

"Oath and Law of Hippocrates." Harvard Classics. 38. P.F. Collier and son, 1910. Web. December 6, 2010.

"Jack Kevorkian." NNBD Profile. Web. 6 Dec 2010.

Matthew, Merill. •"Would Physician-Assisted Suicide Save the Healthcare System Money?," Physician Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate. 1998. Print.

Popik, Jennifer. "Terminally Ill Oregon Patients Denied Treatment but Reminded They Can Choose Physician-Assisted Suicie."." PRL News July 2008, 35: 24. Print.

"Why Living Wills/Advance Directives Are an Essential Part of Estate
Planning," Journal of Financial Service Professionals.
Sep. 2005. Web. December 6, 2010.


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