Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death now (National).Physician assisted suicide has been around since the beginning of time, to end the suffering of patients. This issue is still being argued whether it is right and should be passed as legislation making assisted suicide dependable. Assisted Suicide is when a physician provides all the necessary needs for a patient to commit suicide without physically doing it. For a physician, assisted suicide is when the patients have to request the act to be done and for the doctor to agree. The purpose of this research paper is to bring more awareness of physician assisted suicide and if it should be legalized.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are phenomena developed in the past 20 years. They’re similar to each other because they both have to do with taking away another human being’s life. While assisted suicide is defined as the act of providing a drug prescription or lethal dosage to a patient by a physician and the person can decide when to take the dosage, euthanasia is the practice of killing a sick individual where a physician takes an active part on the process. PAS and euthanasia are legal in Belgium, Colombia, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Oregon, Washington , Montana and Vermont. For years a debate on assisted death has been going on. There are groups who believe it should not be charged as murder and there are others who believe it should. In this essay the reader will be introduced to some of the main reasons why a government pass a law to make them [PAS and euthanasia] legal.
Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in American society that must be dealt with. In assisted suicide, a patient who is terminally ill requests the doctor to administer a lethal dose of medication to end his life. Assisted suicide brings up many moral and legal issues regarding the right of a patient to die with respect and the duties of a doctor. This issue is divided among people who believe that doctor assisted suicide is illegal and immoral and those who believe that suicide is a right that people have. Doctors who aid a patient to commit suicide are performing an illegal act and should be penalized to the full extent of the law.
Assisted suicide has been one of the most controversial topics encoded in society to this day. Everyone has their own side of the story to tell their opinion. This is a socially debated topic that, when it boils down to the point, it is all just someone making a decision, whether the choice is to end one’s life and agony, or to preserve their pain. This should be a choice that the victims decide for themselves. However, in the land of the free, only one state has voted to legalizing assisted suicide. I stand by the right to choose assisted suicide. Assisted suicide and Euthanasia should be the choice of the people falling victim to such actions. This paper will be showing supporting reasons why assisted suicide should be the choice of the one that lays victim to it.
In this article, Dr. Braddock and Dr. Tonelli explain the difference between physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. Physician assisted suicide is “Practice in which a physician provides a competent, terminally ill patient with a prescription for a lethal dose of medication, upon the patient's request, which the patient intends to use to end his or her own life” (Braddock and Tonelli). The authors then describes that euthanasia is when the physician administers the lethal medication. They write this article with the intent to inform the public about this highly controversial subject. The Dr.’s explain the positive side in assisted suicide as, “Physician aid-in-dying is ethically justifiable” (Braddock and Tonelli). They write that people who are for assisted death are about respect, justice, compassion, individual liberty, and honesty for the sick and dying . The authors then explain that, on the other hand, “Physician assisted suicide is ethically impermissible” (Braddock and Tonelli). They give examples, that could have a negative impact on society, such as, religion, potential for abuse, false diagnosis or prognosis, and how it could been seen as a contradiction to the Hippocratic oath.
In recent years the media has shifted more focus on the hot topic of physician assisted suicide. This expanded coverage has caused an ever widening gap on both sides of the debate because of the ethical concerns that come along with this act. Due in part to the advancements in modern medicine, assisted suicide should be viewed as a morally correct decision for individuals to make for themselves when there is no overcoming a life impairing mental or physical ailment. This form of medicine should only be used when the individuals have exhausted all possible procedures and options and the have a bleak chance on being healthy once again. The results of assisted suicide can be viewed as morally correct in regards to consequentialism, social contract theory, as well as deontological ethics. The act of assisted suicide can be viewed as selfless if one does not ultimately want to be a physical or monetary burden on other individuals. A patient can also help to save others in regards of organ donations. We as a country need to learn to observe the choices of the terminally ill patients and understand when they want to concede in their battle. If a person chooses to end their life, it should not be viewed as a sign of weakness, but rather as a statement that this individual does not want to suffer anymore.
As one can see, physician-assisted suicide has a long and complicated history. Recent developments in the United States have brought the issues associated with end-of-life decisions under the microscope. The morality and ethics associated with voluntarily assisting someone while committing suicide have struck a chord with individuals, organizations, and in the political and medicinal sectors. The Hippocratic Oath and Pharmaceutical Oath have become subject to scrutiny with the gaining popularity and legalization of terminally ill patients seeking dignity in death. Increasingly, people are supporting the tough decisions made by patients.
Legalizing Euthanasia (2014). Medical Perspectives on Death and Dying Retrieved from Santa Clara University website: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v4n2/euthanasia.html
Physician-assisted suicide, often referred to as assisted death, is a scenario in which a physician provides medication or advice that allows a terminally ill patient to take their life. (Breitbart) This term is often confused with euthanasia, a situation in which a physician administers lethal doses of medication to a patient to end his or her life. (Breitbart) This is often done by a physician who wants to be merciful and who believes they are ending the patient’s suffering. (Breitbart) A patient who requests a physician to assist them in their suicide is asking the physician to go against their morals and the Hippocratic Oath.
The right to assisted suicide is a significant topic that concerns people all over the United States. The debates go back and forth about whether a dying patient has the right to die with the assistance of a physician. Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons. Others are for it because of their compassion and respect for the dying. Physicians are also divided on the issue. They differ where they place the line that separates relief from dying--and killing. For many the main concern with assisted suicide lies with the competence of the terminally ill. Many terminally ill patients who are in the final stages of their lives have requested doctors to aid them in exercising active euthanasia. It is sad to realize that these people are in great agony and that to them the only hope of bringing that agony to a halt is through assisted suicide.When people see the word euthanasia, they see the meaning of the word in two different lights. Euthanasia for some carries a negative connotation; it is the same as murder. For others, however, euthanasia is the act of putting someone to death painlessly, or allowing a person suffering from an incurable and painful disease or condition to die by withholding extreme medical measures. But after studying both sides of the issue, a compassionate individual must conclude that competent terminal patients should be given the right to assisted suicide in order to end their suffering, reduce the damaging financial effects of hospital care on their families, and preserve the individual right of people to determine their own fate.
The discussion of physician-assisted suicide is frequently focused around the ethical implications. The confusion commonly surfaces from the simple question, what is physician-assisted suicide? Physician-assisted suicide can be defined as a circumstance in which a medical physician provides a lethal dose of medication to a patient with a fatal illness. In this case, the patient has given consent, as well as direction, to the physician to ethically aid in their death (Introduction to Physician-Assisted Suicide: At Issue,
Physician-assisted suicide refers to the physician acting indirectly in the death of the patient -- providing the means for death. The ethics of PAS is a continually debated topic. The range of arguments in support and opposition of PAS are vast. Justice, compassion, the moral irrelevance of the difference between killing and letting die, individual liberty are many arguments for PAS. The distinction between killing and letting die, sanctity of life, "do no harm" principle of medicine, and the potential for abuse are some of the arguments in favor of making PAS illegal. However, self-determination, and ultimately respect for autonomy are relied on heavily as principle arguments in the PAS issue.
Physician -assisted suicide has been a conflict in the medical field since pre- Christian eras, and is an issue that has resurfaced in the twentieth century. People today are not aware of what the term physician assisted suicide means, and are opposed to listening to advocates’ perspectives. Individuals need to understand that problems do not go away by not choosing to face them. This paper’s perspective of assisted suicide is that it is an option to respect the dignity of patients, and only those with deathly illness are justified for this method.