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Essay on The Right to Die with Dignity: Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician assisted suicide should be a choice of the patient in Florida. There has long been a debate on Physician assisted suicide in the state of Florida, and in many other US states. The government has the burden on whether to pass an initiative on allowing physician assisted suicide. The Right to die initiative is decided on a state by state basis.

Physician-assisted suicide is defined as a physician providing either equipment or medication, or to inform the patient of the most available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life. The people’s opinion support PAS according to a poll given in 1998. The majority 33% of people agreed that Physician assisted suicide should be made legal in a variety of circumstances, and 32% agreed with making it legal in select cases. (Gallup)

There are only three states that allow physician-assisted suicide: Washington, Oregon, and Montana. Oregon became the first by enacting the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill patients to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose. (Oregon.gov) In November of 2008 Washington became the second and in December of the same year Montana agreed and became the third. A poll was given to Oregon physicians in 1999, nurses, and social workers in 2001. The majority of physicians 51% supported the death with dignity act, 48% of nurses were in favor, and 72% of social workers were in support. (Miller) These polls clearly show that the majority of voters are in support of Physician assisted suicide.

Physician-assisted suicide has been brought into light in recent years due to the increase in life prolonging me...


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... offered to help only under different circumstances. Although the Dr. was willing to assist Mr. Hall, he was not willing to risk prosecution under the current law. “He defends assisted suicide for patients whose lives doctors cannot make tolerable”. ''My responsibility to the patient is to do what's in his best interest,'' Dr. McIver said in an interview. ''Usually his best interest is to live. But when it is to die, isn't it my responsibility to help him die?'' (Navarro)

Physician-assisted suicide has been proven to be a more humane way to die. The evidence shows Florida should follow suit. Each person has the right to choose how they live, they should have that same right to choose to end pain and suffering in no hope cases. Physician assisted suicide the state of Florida needs to look at the facts and pass the initiative allowing physician-assisted suicide.


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