Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician Assisted Suicide

There are thousands of people in the world that are sick and thousands of people that die everyday. Why then would some of those people want to have a physician-assisted suicide? There are different forms of physician-assisted suicide, but all of them end in suicide. The definition of a physician-assisted suicide is, "The voluntary termination of one's own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician" (Medical Dictionary). This assisted suicide is usually done with a lethal injection or an overdose of pills to make the patient fall into a coma and die from there. At the moment, the only state in America that allows physician-assisted suicides is Oregon and even those have to be looked at as special cases by not just he doctor but a staff of people. Assisted suicides are morally wrong and there are other methods that can be used to help with the pain of a terminally ill patient.

Terminally ill patients are people who are told they have less than six months of survival left. When people are told this, they usually get scared and because of the amount of pain they are in, they fall into a depression and would rather die then suffer. When a person is informed they have a terminally ill disease, they go through a series of stages. The stages go in this order, denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and finally acceptance. The third stage is depression and this is where the patient usually wants to die because they feel like there is no hope and there is no reason to live (Keir 59). If people would just help the patient through this time, they would eventually get to the acceptance stage. Sadly though with some, they never reach this point because they have decided suicide is a better way out of their illness. "USA Today has reported that among older people suffering from terminal illnesses who attempt suicide, the number suffering from depression reaches almost 90%" (Balch). This is an extremely high percentage. If people got counseling for their depression than the number of people who would opt for suicide would decline. Even though their terminal disease is not preventable, their depression is. A study done on terminally ill patients concluded that patients who did not have clinical depression had no thoughts of suicide or wished that their death would come any earlier.

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