The problem is that it doesn't have a clear answer. Oncologist Ezekiel Emanuel (1997) addresses the issues of physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia and explains why Americans ought to think twice before legalizing physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. He begins by explaining the difference between the two methods. Physician-assisted suicide is when the doctor gives you the means, such as drugs, which you administer yourself. Voluntary euthanasia, however, is when the doctor actually performs the fatal procedure after the patient has confirmed his/her wish to die.
Is the role of a medical professional to ensure the well-being of their patients, or to assist them in ending their lives? Many people may believe that physicians would never perform the latter, but in actuality one practice does so. Physician assisted suicide is the intentional ending of one’s life brought on by lethal substances prescribed by a doctor. In the majority of cases, the patient is terminally ill and simply does not desire to live any longer. Their physician provides the medication necessary to end their life.
In March of 1998, a woman suffering with cancer became the first person known to die under the law on physician-assisted suicide in the state of Oregon when she took a lethal dose of drugs. This law does not include people who have been on a life support system nor does it include those who have not voluntarily asked physicians to help them commit suicide. Many people worry that legalizing doctor assisted suicide is irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine and it has been argued that the reason why some terminally ill patients yearn to commit suicide is nothing more than depression. Physician Assisted Suicide would lessen the human life or end the suffering and pain of those on the verge of dying; Physician Assisted Suicide needs to be figured out for those in dire need of it or for those fighting against it. 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.
The doctors have tried to keep Christina’s pain under control, but with all the medicine the slightest touch feels like razor blades scraping her skin. Being a terminal patient is rather difficult to come to terms with, leaving unpaid bills behind, losing bodily control, and having family watch them die a slow painful death. Incidentally Christiana does not live in one of the four states that offer Physician Assisted Suicide. Physician Assisted Suicide should be legalized in all states because it is a freedom of choice, ceases one’s pain and suffering and decreases traditional suicide rates. Physician Assisted Suicide is a freedom of choice.
This law allows patients who have been given six months or less to live that wish to hasten their deaths to obtain lethal doses of medication prescribed by two doctors. Between 1998 and 2000, ninety-six lethal prescriptions were written, and seventy patients took the fatal doses. Physician-assisted suicide is only legal in the states of Washington and Oregon, meaning in the rest of the country, the practice remains illegal. Many patients are unable to get the help necessary to end their lives and must involuntarily endure unbearable pain. Some terminally ill patients have to experience an intolerably poor quality of life and would prefer to end their life rather than continue until their body finally gives up.
Several articles have been published that poll doctors' views on euthanasia and assisted suicide, and these are likely to get closer to the real views of doctors. In a survey of doctors on management of the persistent vegetative state, 35% of doctors would never withdraw feeding or nutrition and 28% would always treat an acute infection or other life-threatening condition (1). In a survey of 355 oncologists, the majority found euthanasia or assisted suicide unacceptable. However one in seven oncologists had actually carried out euthanasia or assisted suicide (2). 37% of physicians who look after AIDS patients would be unlikely to assist a patient with established AIDS to commit suicide but 48% said they would be likely to do so (3).
Euthanasia is when the doctor administers the lethal dose of drugs and physician assisted suicide is done solely by the patient. Many people who oppose physician assisted suicide feel as if it is professionally unethical, and that it contradicts the code of ethics that doctors adhere to. People feel as though it is a physician’s responsibility to prolon... ... middle of paper ... ...d Voluntary Euthanasia: Some Relevant Differences.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 88.3 (1998): 1155-1165. SocINDeX with Full Text. Web.
Euthanasia is the practice of painlessly killing a patient with an incurable or painful disease. Doctor assisted suicide is when a doctor helps a patient end their life by using a lethal injection of medication. In the United States, both euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide are illegal. As of 2014, only nine states have worked to legalize and achieve euthanasia and doctor assisted suicide. Of those nine states, the New Hampshire House rejected the bill HB 1325 to legalize doctor assisted suicide but many groups joined together to oppose the rejection and won the right to legalize doctor assisted suicide.
Doctors can perform euthanasia by giving a patient a lethal injection or by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs (“Euthanasia”). Active euthanasia is actually taking proactive measures to help a person die. Opposite active euthanasia which is defined as "allowing to die," and is used to describe a decision to withhold treatment, remove life support, etc. from a patient who may be in a coma or vegetative state (Issues and Controversies). The United States has long outlawed assisted suicide.
Many argue that active euthanasia is considered to be murder because a patient is given a lethal drug end their life, even though it is voluntary. So, is there any difference between active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide? Firstly, they key point that makes physician-assisted suicide legal is that the patient takes the drug on their own, whereas in active euthanasia the physician usually injects the drug themselves. Considering this, giving and prescribing are not much different from one another when it is voluntary. Also, some patients lose all bodily functions and are unable to participate in physician-assisted suicide and so their only option is active euthanasia.