Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in American society that must be dealt with. In assisted suicide, a patient who is terminally ill requests the doctor to administer a lethal dose of medication to end his life. Assisted suicide brings up many moral and legal issues regarding the right of a patient to die with respect and the duties of a doctor. This issue is divided among people who believe that doctor assisted suicide is illegal and immoral and those who believe that suicide is a right that people have. Doctors who aid a patient to commit suicide are performing an illegal act and should be penalized to the full extent of the law.
The legalization of assisted suicide has been a controversial topic that has created a divide within the medical community, as well as the general public, for many years. Assisted suicide occurs when a patient decides to take their own life, with help from their doctor. The doctor can end the patient’s life without causing any additional pain or suffering. While some believe that assisted suicide should be legal for patients who are suffering from a terminal and painful condition, others argue that it is unethical and going against the doctor’s oath to help and not harm their patients. As the average life expectancy age increases, people are living longer while also having to live with more serious illnesses. As a result, lives are ending with a great amount of suffering and pain, rather then dying peacefully. Since death is ultimately inevitable, I will therefore argue in favor of the proposition that assisted suicide should be legal for those capable of making a rationale end of life decision.
Assisted Suicide, also known as mercy killing, occurs when a physician provides the means (drugs or other agents) by which a person can take his or her own life. This assistance is one of the most debated issues today in society followed by abortion. Physicians are frequently faced with the question of whether or not assisted suicide is ethical or immoral. Although assisted suicide is currently illegal in almost all states in America, it is still often committed. Is assisted suicide ethical? Studies have found that the majority of Americans support assisted suicide. One must weigh both sides of the argument before they can decide.
People knowing that their health will not improve and will arrive at their death should be given the right to an assisted suicide. Harmful or attempted suicides that result in severe damage can also be prevented by letting those with physical suffering end their life by the help of a physician. Even though assisted suicide is illegal in most states, it is generally ethical. Assisted suicide needs to only be administered and considered moral for someone who has a terminal diagnosis and wishes to die gracefully in order to relieve their pain. Suicide is not normally something that should be deemed acceptable, but since suicide with assistance can help the terminally ill, it needs to be seen as ethical for the sake of the less fortunate with a deadly
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are phenomena developed in the past 20 years. They’re similar to each other because they both have to do with taking away another human being’s life. While assisted suicide is defined as the act of providing a drug prescription or lethal dosage to a patient by a physician and the person can decide when to take the dosage, euthanasia is the practice of killing a sick individual where a physician takes an active part on the process. PAS and euthanasia are legal in Belgium, Colombia, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Oregon, Washington , Montana and Vermont. For years a debate on assisted death has been going on. There are groups who believe it should not be charged as murder and there are others who believe it should. In this essay the reader will be introduced to some of the main reasons why a government pass a law to make them [PAS and euthanasia] legal.
Throughout the course of history, advances in medical technology have prolonged the length of life and delayed death; however, terminal illnesses still exist and modern medicine is often unable to prevent death. Many people turn to a procedure known as Physician-Assisted suicide, a process by which a doctor aids in ending a terminally ill patient’s life. This procedure is painless and effective, allowing patients to control their death and alleviate unnecessary suffering. In spite of these benefits, Physician-Assisted suicide is illegal in many places both nationally and internationally. Despite the fact that Physician-Assisted suicide is opposed by many Americans and much of the world on ethical and moral grounds such as those based on religion and the morality of taking another life, it should still be legalized because it alleviates suffering of patients, allows patients to choose a dignified death, and allows patients to control their own fate instead of their disease controlling them.
Currently, physician-assisted suicide or death is illegal in all states except Oregon, Vermont, Montana and Washington. Present law in other states express that suicide is not a crime, but assisting in suicide is. Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that the moral right to life should encompass the right to voluntary death. Opponents of assisted suicide claim that society has a moral and civic duty to preserve the lives of innocent persons. There is a slippery slope involving the legalizing assisted suicide. Concern that assisted suicide allowed on the basis of mercy or compassion, can and will lead to the urging of the death for morally unjustifiable reasons is understandable. However, legalization can serve to prevent the already existent practice of underground physician-assisted suicide if strict laws to ensure that the interests of the patients are primary are installed and enforced. When a patient asks for assistance in dying, their wishes should be respected as long as the patient is free from coercion and competent enough to give informed consent. The intent of this work is to examine the legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands and to argue that assisted suicide is morally and ethically acceptable in theory despite some unintended consequences of its implementation.
“I 'm not afraid of being dead, I 'm just afraid of what you might have to go through to get there”, stated by Pamela Bone during her deterioration from cancer (Bone). Giving someone the choice of ending their life was not known by many until a man of the name of Jack Kevorkian began performing this procedure. He was the first to assist others in ending their lives due to medical illnesses. His actions caused many years of conflict with the court system, forcing him to spend eight years in prison. Kevorkian’s procedures aroused national controversy over the moral and ethical issues surrounding this extremely sensitive topic. Assisted suicide is slowly becoming more prominent in the world with the discussion of the benefits of the practice, the need for the law due to the possible detrimental aspects of it, and the obligation to remain true to the morals one has set for themselves.
In 2007, the American Geriatrics Society defined Physician-Assisted Suicide as, “When a physician provides either equipment or medication, or informs the patient of the most efficacious use of already available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life” (qtd. in Lachman 121). Physician-Assisted Suicide is what it says, suicide. In the United States the controversy of the “Right to die” is not new. According to Vicki D. Lachman a Clinical Associate Professor, after the Supreme Court decision in 1997, it was determined that there is not a constitutional right to die. The Supreme Court is allowing states to pass laws to legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide. Since then three states, Oregon, Washington, and Montana have made it legal to perform Phy...
As one can see, physician-assisted suicide has a long and complicated history. Recent developments in the United States have brought the issues associated with end-of-life decisions under the microscope. The morality and ethics associated with voluntarily assisting someone while committing suicide have struck a chord with individuals, organizations, and in the political and medicinal sectors. The Hippocratic Oath and Pharmaceutical Oath have become subject to scrutiny with the gaining popularity and legalization of terminally ill patients seeking dignity in death. Increasingly, people are supporting the tough decisions made by patients.
Imagine, if you will, that you have just found out you have a terminal medical condition. Doesn’t matter which one, it’s terminal. Over the 6 months you have to live you experience unmeasurable amounts of pain, and when your free of your pain the medication you’re under renders you in an impaired sense of consciousness. Towards the 4th month, you begin to believe all this suffering is pointless, you are to die anyways, why not with a little dignity. You begin to consider Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS). In this essay I will explain the ethical decisions and dilemmas one may face when deciding to accept the idea of Physician-Assisted Suicide. I will also provide factual information pertaining to the subject of PAS and testimony from some that advocate for legalization of PAS. PAS is not to be taken lightly. It is the decision to end one’s life with the aid of a medical physician. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states that PAS is “Suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent.” PAS is considered, by our textbook – Doing Ethics by Lewis Vaughn, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. There are other forms of euthanasia such as non-voluntary, involuntary, and passive. This essay is focusing on PAS, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. PAS is commonly known as “Dying/Death with Dignity.” The most recent publicized case of PAS is the case of Brittany Maynard. She was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in California, where she lived. At the time California didn’t have Legislative right to allow Brittany the right to commit PAS so she was transported to Oregon where PAS is legal....
The right to assisted suicide is a significant topic that concerns people all over the United States. The debates go back and forth about whether a dying patient has the right to die with the assistance of a physician. Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons. Others are for it because of their compassion and respect for the dying. Physicians are also divided on the issue. They differ where they place the line that separates relief from dying--and killing. For many the main concern with assisted suicide lies with the competence of the terminally ill. Many terminally ill patients who are in the final stages of their lives have requested doctors to aid them in exercising active euthanasia. It is sad to realize that these people are in great agony and that to them the only hope of bringing that agony to a halt is through assisted suicide.When people see the word euthanasia, they see the meaning of the word in two different lights. Euthanasia for some carries a negative connotation; it is the same as murder. For others, however, euthanasia is the act of putting someone to death painlessly, or allowing a person suffering from an incurable and painful disease or condition to die by withholding extreme medical measures. But after studying both sides of the issue, a compassionate individual must conclude that competent terminal patients should be given the right to assisted suicide in order to end their suffering, reduce the damaging financial effects of hospital care on their families, and preserve the individual right of people to determine their own fate.
The discussion of physician-assisted suicide is frequently focused around the ethical implications. The confusion commonly surfaces from the simple question, what is physician-assisted suicide? Physician-assisted suicide can be defined as a circumstance in which a medical physician provides a lethal dose of medication to a patient with a fatal illness. In this case, the patient has given consent, as well as direction, to the physician to ethically aid in their death (Introduction to Physician-Assisted Suicide: At Issue,
Physician-assisted suicide refers to the physician acting indirectly in the death of the patient -- providing the means for death. The ethics of PAS is a continually debated topic. The range of arguments in support and opposition of PAS are vast. Justice, compassion, the moral irrelevance of the difference between killing and letting die, individual liberty are many arguments for PAS. The distinction between killing and letting die, sanctity of life, "do no harm" principle of medicine, and the potential for abuse are some of the arguments in favor of making PAS illegal. However, self-determination, and ultimately respect for autonomy are relied on heavily as principle arguments in the PAS issue.
Physician -assisted suicide has been a conflict in the medical field since pre- Christian eras, and is an issue that has resurfaced in the twentieth century. People today are not aware of what the term physician assisted suicide means, and are opposed to listening to advocates’ perspectives. Individuals need to understand that problems do not go away by not choosing to face them. This paper’s perspective of assisted suicide is that it is an option to respect the dignity of patients, and only those with deathly illness are justified for this method.