Essay On Assisted Suicide

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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.
The Oregon Death With Dignity Act allows Oregon residents the access to physician-assisted death with restrictions. An eligible patient must be at least 18 years of age, diagnosed with a terminal illness resulting death within 6 months, and be in the right psychological state to make informed, rational decisions. The Death With Dignity Act implemented a protocol physici...

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...tonomy. The law can require the medical opinions of several physicians and psychiatrists to formulate the most rational decision. In addition, waiting periods and consent from an individual close to the patient can be proscribed to prevent the patient from making decisions he or she will regret. All states that implement the legalization of assisted suicide must also limit the procedure to terminal illness only. Safeguards are vital, but every state must also devote resources toward oversight of the procedure. The role of the state government is to legalize, but not the program like in the Netherlands; the state should seek to improve the field of palliative care by promoting counseling and hospices. The purpose of legalizing physician-assisted death is not necessarily to promote the process as the optimal choice. Legalization will provide patients with an option

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