Death with Dignity or Sanctity of Life: Who Gets to Choose?

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The ongoing controversy about Physician assisted suicides is an ongoing battle among physicians, patients and court systems. The question of whether or not individuals have the “right” to choose death over suffering in their final days or hours of life continues to be contested. On one side you have the physicians and the Hippocratic Oath they took to save lives; on the other you have the patients’ right to make life choices, even if that means to choose death to end suffering. The ultimate question “is it ethical for a physician to agree to assisted suicides and is it ethical for a patient to request assisted suicide? Physician aid-in-dying (PAD) is an act of a physician aiding in the death of a competent, terminally ill patient(Dudzinski, Starks, White 2009).The death is carried out by the patient being given a lethal dose of medications which the patient must self-administer to end his or her life. Physician-assisted suicide (PAS), is the act which the physician aids the patient in killing him or herself. Euthanasia is carried out by a third person administering the lethal dose of medication. The ethical question of these acts being permissible is still being argued (Dudzinski, Starks, and White 2009) Starting with the argument of it not being ethical, Martin Levin a practicing attorney states; that when he first began his paper and research he believed people should have the right to an assisted suicide. After doing extensive research he changed his mind. Just some of these reasons include sanctity of human life. It is stated that God created the human life and therefore our lives and bodies are the property of God. It is also stated that no one has the right to destroy Gods’ property (Levin M. 2002). In many churches ho... ... middle of paper ... ...cted. The choices to have an assisted death or to terminate live sustaining equipment, death should be our choice. Works Cited Angela Morrow, RN (2010). Reasons for Seeking Physician-Assisted Suicide, Why Would Anyone Consider a Hastened Death? Retrieved from: http://dying.about.com/od/physicianassistedsuicide/a/why_PAS.htm Death With Dignity National Center (2011) About Death with Dignity, retrieved from: http://www.deathwithdignity.org/aboutus/?utm_source=AboutSidebar&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=Sidebar Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS, Helene Starks, PhD, MPH, Nicole White, MD, MA (2009) ETHICS IN MEDICINE. Retrieved from: http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/pad.html Martin Levin (2002) Physician Assisted Suicide: Legality and Morality, Levin Papantonio, retrieved from: http://www.levinlaw.com/news/physician-assisted-suicide-legality-and-morality

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