While reaffirming that assisted suicide is "incompatible with the physician's role as healer," the AMA has somewhat confusingly attacked the legislation as a "federal intrusion" into "the practice of medicine." It adds that the legislation will have a "chilling effect" on the use of drugs for pain control.
The National and Oregon Right to Life brief argues that Ashcroft's decision was fully justified because the federal government can choose to protect all human life through its laws even if the State of Oregon has chosen not to do so. "Just because Oregon allows its doctors to prescribe lethal drug overdoses to patients doesn't mean that the federal government has to agree that this is a legitimate medical use of the drugs," said James Bopp, Jr., General Counsel of the National Right to Life Committee. "The Oregon tail doesn't wag the federal dog. The U.S. government can protect all human lives even if Oregon turns its back on some of them." The brief also argues that the Ashcroft decision avoids constitutional problems by refusing to discriminate against terminally ill persons in enforcement of federal drug laws.
Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court After the nation's highest court declared that U.S. citizens are not constitutionally guaranteed the right to a physician-assisted suicide, the movement has sort of lost its steam. Why do the Supreme Court Justices consider legalization dangerous? How did it win legislative approval in Oregon in the first place? What is the current trend in public opinion about this question? This essay will delve into these questions.
The choice of physician assisted suicide may be an irrelevant issue to some, but when it comes to terminally ill patients, it is definitely an observable option. These people must realize that taking a life, whether someone else’s or their own, is dishonorable. Assisted suicide should be against the law in all states because it would have an affect on medical procedures, persuade doctors to make the wrong decisions, and change the morality of people around the country. The people of this country are partially represented by the United States Supreme Court. In fact, the United States Supreme Court is going to become the final judge of this important issue because two United States Court of Appeals decisions have recently ruled laws forbidding physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional (Court 1).
The 14th amendment gives people the right to life and liberty, therefore the Supreme Court made the wrong decision in Washington vs Glucksberg when they supported the states ban. This case has left many terminally ill patients suffering without the freedom to end their lives. Washington vs Glucksberg was a case where Dr Harold Glucksberg who was a physician brought in four patients, three of which were terminally ill. Dr Glucksberg argued Washington state 's ban on assisted suicide. This case is quite significant it stated that physician assisted suicide was a violation of the Due process law of the 14 th amendment. The due process clause states, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens
The means, to which he refers, is a toxic substance and the directions for administration, which will produce death. Humphry argues for legal reform in order to make such acts lawful, calling them: "...the ultimate civil liberty, the freedom to select one's own manner of dying without interference from others, but with help if we choose." My academic research on Minerva 2000 produced 0 hits on the topic: US Practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide. Certainly, the three types of presently legal and justifiable grounds for assisting other people in taking their lives which Humphry enumerates, all exclude freedom, free will or civil liberty. Why haven't the US Legislature, and the US medical community chosen to legislate and practice PAS on behalf of patient rights to exercise free will and autonomy?
In current society, legalizing physician assisted suicide is a prevalent argument. In 1997, the Supreme Court recognized no federal constitutional right to physician assisted suicide (Harned 1) , which defines suicide as one receiving help from a physician by means of a lethal dosage (Pearson 1), leaving it up to state legislatures to legalize such practice if desired. Only Oregon and Washington have since legalized physician assisted suicide. People seeking assisted suicide often experience slanted judgments and are generally not mentally healthy. Legalization of this practice would enable people to fall victim to coercion by friends and family to commit suicide.
The main purpose for this paper is to bring light on the advantages and disadvantages of physician-assisted suicide and to show what principled and moral reasoning there is behind each point. “On October 27, 1997 Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.” (The Oregon Health Authority, 2010). Physician assisted suicide can be constructed to have reasonable laws which still protect against its abuse and the value of human life. Recent Oregon and U.K. laws show that you can craft reasonable laws that prevent abuse and still protect the value of human life. When one thinks of suicide, we think of a person who takes their own life.
Euthanasia should only be used to punish criminals who have committed a crime that the punishment of their crime is the death penalty. Allowing euthanasia would weaken society’s respect for the sanctity of life. The human life should be valued no matter the person’s race, age, gender, religion or social status. A person does not have to make so... ... middle of paper ... ...ly grows as they do. Dr. Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society, said, “ If we can’t even control the actions of one doctor—Jack Kevorkian—when physician-assisted suicide is illegal, how can we expect to regulate the actions of thousands of doctors where physician-assisted suicide is legal?” He makes a valid point, if Dr. Kevorkian couldn’t be controlled, what difference does having regulations in place make?
In reviewing the Nation's longstanding tradition against assisted suicide, it cited federal enactments such as the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997 alongside state laws. Illustrating the government's interest in protecting terminally ill patients, the Court favorably cited an earlier decision upholding the federal Food and Drug Administration's authority "to protect the terminally ill, no less than other patients," from life-endangering drugs. Washington v. Glucksberg, 117 S. Ct. at 2272, quoting United States v. Rutherford, 442 U.S. 544, 558 (1979). What the Court did rule is that laws prohibiting assisted suicide (whether state or federal) are constitutionally valid and serve several important and legitimate interests. Excerpts follow: Washington v. Glucksberg The question presented in this case is whether Washington's prohibition against "caus[ing]" or "aid[ing]" a suicide offends the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.