Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Pain is universal. In life, everyone will feel pain; it is inevitable and cruel. Physical or emotional, insignificant or severe, it is there. The pain continues mounting into an unbearable amount of suffering. Suffering that blots out everything of worth, such as family, love, aspirations, and optimism. Hopelessness seizes any will to endure. With no way to subside or control the pain, often one will go to extremes in order to be free of it. Many take their life, in order to escape the horror. Committing suicide is a traumatizing experience for any and all involved. Life is precious. The chance to live is only given once, and cannot be taken for granted. Preventing even a single life from ending early is imperative and obligatory to everyone. Suicide can never be an option. Why then is it acceptable as an alternative treatment for dire medical conditions? Physician-Assisted Suicides have a negative impact on those involved and is unethical. In 2007, the American Geriatrics Society defined Physician-Assisted Suicide as, “When a physician provides either equipment or medication, or informs the patient of the most efficacious use of already available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life” (qtd. in Lachman 121). Physician-Assisted Suicide is what it says, suicide. In the United States the controversy of the “Right to die” is not new. According to Vicki D. Lachman a Clinical Associate Professor, after the Supreme Court decision in 1997, it was determined that there is not a constitutional right to die. The Supreme Court is allowing states to pass laws to legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide. Since then three states, Oregon, Washington, and Montana have made it legal to perform Phy... ... middle of paper ... ...urses 19.2 (2010): 121-125. MEDLINE. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. Linda Ganzini, et al. "Quality of Death and Dying in Patients who Request Physician-Assisted Death." Journal of Palliative Medicine 14.4 (2011): 445-450. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. Luc Deliens, et al. "The role of nurses in physician-assisted deaths in Belgium." CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal 182.9 (2010): 905-910. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. Stevens Jr., Kenneth R. "Emotional and Psychological Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia on Participating Physicians." Issues in Law & Medicine 21.3 (2006): 187-200. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. Sullivan, Stephen. "The right to die: a discussion of 'rational suicide'." Mental Health Practice 14.6 (2011): 32-34. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Sept. 2011.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes dr. de graas' personal experience with physician-assisted suicide. physical and emotional challenges are obvious, and some physicians do not work after their traumatizing experience.
  • Explains that the code of ethics for nurses prohibits nurses from taking part in physician-assisted suicides.
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