Free Euthanasia Essays: Hospice and Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Hospice and Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia

One Work Cited This essay will present the views of that worldwide organization named Hospice which has seen the quiet, natural death of millions of terminally ill patients - without the use of physician-assisted suicide. It is important that the voice of the largest caregiver for the terminally ill be heard, and listened to attentively. For they have the most experience. The Hemlock Society is nothing (in scope, importance, goals)in comparison to this great Hospice Organization (HO).

Hospice professionals and caregivers have given the issue of physician-assisted suicide much thought and consideration in recent years, and adopted an organizational position on the issue as early as February of 1992. Last year, when the debate increased in intensity, the HO not only reaffirmed its earlier position, but strengthened it. The Organization's Resolution clearly states, "That assisted suicide is not a component of hospice care; ..." and "That the Hospice Organization does not support the legalization of voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide in the care of the terminally ill."

Hospice workers, likely more than any other group of care providers, deal with the desperation that many individuals feel when they accept the fact that their illness is likely to be the cause of their death. In that process, hospice staff deal not only with the physical pain of the illness, but also the emotional pain of facing leaving one's family, the social pain of enduring what may be considered indignities, and the spiritual pain associated with one's cultural and personal beliefs about life after death. Through an interdisciplinary approach that is unique to hospice care, patients who elect hospice receive treatment for all their concerns. Hospice caregivers have discovered three central reasons a terminally ill person may want to discuss suicide.

One is a fear of uncontrolled pain. Another is fear of abandonment, of being left alone to die and feeling there is no one to care. The third is concern over financial pressures that may leave a family devastated by the last illness. Hospice addresses these concerns as quickly in the disease process as is possible, and hospice workers everywhere will tell the public that when these issues are under control, the desire to end one's life becomes a non-issue. Hospice workers dedicate their professional and often their personal lives to successfully resolving those issues. The hospice community is very concerned that the legalization of

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