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.
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As any individual can imagine, there is a lot of suffering and pain in most, if not all hospital settings. At times, no amount of medication or experimental treatment can change an individual’s mind on the quality of their life, such that the only way to end their suffering is to die, hence physician assisted suicide. Defined as a patient taking their own life with the help of a physician, this assisted suicide practice is highly controversial and illegal in most but California, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Putting the law aside, the morality of the practice itself is still questioned.
Marker and Hamlon. “Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Frequently Asked Questions.” International Task Force. 2009. .
Although physician assisted suicide may result in the fulfillment of another’s choice, be considered a compassionate mean to end suffering, or even be considered a right, I believe it is not morally acceptable. In the act of physician assisted suicide, a patient voluntarily requests his or her doctor to assist in providing the means needed for self killing. In most cases of physician assisted suicide, patients who request this type of assistance are terminally ill and mentally competent (i.e. have sufficient understanding of an individual’s own situation and purpose and consequences of any action). Those who have committed the action of physician assisted suicide or condone the act may believe that one has the right to end their own life, the right of autonomy (the right or condition of self governing), the right to a dignified death, believe that others have a duty to minimize suffering, or believe it (physician assisted suicide) to be a compassionate act, or a combination of these things. However, since this act violates the intrinsic value of human life, it is not morally acceptable.
Imagine, if you will, that you have just found out you have a terminal medical condition. Doesn’t matter which one, it’s terminal. Over the 6 months you have to live you experience unmeasurable amounts of pain, and when your free of your pain the medication you’re under renders you in an impaired sense of consciousness. Towards the 4th month, you begin to believe all this suffering is pointless, you are to die anyways, why not with a little dignity. You begin to consider Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS). In this essay I will explain the ethical decisions and dilemmas one may face when deciding to accept the idea of Physician-Assisted Suicide. I will also provide factual information pertaining to the subject of PAS and testimony from some that advocate for legalization of PAS. PAS is not to be taken lightly. It is the decision to end one’s life with the aid of a medical physician. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states that PAS is “Suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent.” PAS is considered, by our textbook – Doing Ethics by Lewis Vaughn, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. There are other forms of euthanasia such as non-voluntary, involuntary, and passive. This essay is focusing on PAS, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. PAS is commonly known as “Dying/Death with Dignity.” The most recent publicized case of PAS is the case of Brittany Maynard. She was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in California, where she lived. At the time California didn’t have Legislative right to allow Brittany the right to commit PAS so she was transported to Oregon where PAS is legal....
Callahan, Daniel. "Physician -assisted Suicide Should Not be Legal." Suicide: Opposing Viewpoints. Biskup, Michael. ed. San Diego. Greenhaven Press, Inc.1992.
Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that is going to kill you, but then you learn that you cannot do anything to avoid the pain it will cause you. The palliative care you will receive will only be able to provide slight comfort. You look at the options and consult with your physician, and decide physician-assisted suicide, or PAS, is what you want. Within the last two decades, the argument regarding physician-assisted suicide has grown. While some believe that death should be "natural", physician-assisted suicide helps the terminally ill maintain their dignity while dying. Physician assisted suicide should be a viable option for those diagnosed with a terminal illness. It provides a permanent relief to the pain and suffering that is involved
One position within the debate for physician assisted suicide is that it should not be legalized. Many defenders cite the issue of pain for this stance. They believe that the amount of suffering that a terminally ill patient is going through is deluding their minds. They also linked this distress towards clinical depression, the root that they say are causing them to want to ...
the decision to end their lives often turn to their physicians for advice. However, studies indicate that many physicians are unwilling to provide their assistance in suicide because it conflicts with their ethical beliefs and because it is illegal. The legalization of PAS is a sensitive, yet complicated, topic which is becoming more and more popular with America’s aging population and the terminally ill patients. PAS is a social issue which is here to stay. The legalization of PAS is continually being debated all over the United States and offers a potential for abuse. In 1994, PAS laws of Washington and New York were challenged in federal court and declared unconstitutional. Physician assisted suicide should not be legalized in any state.
Euthanasia is divided into two separate classifications consisting of passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. Traditionally, “euthanasia is passive when a physician allows her patient to die, by withholding or withdrawing vital treatment from him…euthanasia is active when a patient's death results from his physician's killing the patient, typically by administering lethal medication” (Varelius, 2016). While active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide share many of the same characteristics, they differ in the role for committing the final act, resulting in the death of the patient. A third party, consisting of either a family member or the physician, is responsible for “pulling-the-plug” in active euthanasia. On the other hand, in physician-assisted suicide, it is ultimately up to the patient to commit the final death-inducing act. Varelius suggests that the separation of passive and active euthanasia can be explained by the involvement that the physician partakes in their patients’ death
In the article “Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide, and Other Medical Practices Involving the End of Life in the Netherlands, 1990–1995” written by Paul J. van der Maas, M.D., Ph.D., et al in The New England Journal of Medicine, all the research toward assisted suicide and Euthanasia is made known. The purpose of this paper was to have shown the changes in both statistics and percentiles of Euthanasia, and also in physician assisted suicide between the years 1990-1995. Not only does this document include the patients that independently make their own decisions, but also the patients who are unable to make sensible independent decisions due to their illness. The study consisted of about a year’s worth of interviews, about 410 took place in this jurisdiction. In this study, criteria were involved to be eligible. The criteria is to be a working MD in this facility for more than a year. The conclusion of this study, presented that Physician assisted suicide grew between 1990-1995 weather the patient used the prescribed
The concern that comes to mind, when considering ideas I’ve been exposed to in our ethics course, and that causes me some apprehension due its inevitable involvement it in my career as a physician is treating patients requesting euthanasia or physician assisted suicide/death (PAD). While this isn’t a performance-based concern per se nor do I anticipate its occurrence often, I am apprehensive because at the onset of writing this paper I didn’t have any reservations in advocating for or offering PAD as a means to end suffering.
If sick or elderly people wants to die because they don’t want to suffer anymore, some believe that they should be able to do so. However, what if that person isn't making the right decision? What if they could eventually get better? In countries such as Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Albania, Colombia, and Japan euthanasia/assisted suicide is legal. In the United States, only 5 states that have it legalized the process. They are Washington, Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico. In places where it is legalized, it has many regulations in place that make it difficult to accomplish. Assisted suicide ends pain and suffering and allows families to save money on medical expenses. Nevertheless there are many cons to this. According to http.www.i09.com/should-there-be-euthanasia-for-psychological-suffering-1471542713, assisted suicide in Belgium has been used for people that have had psychological suffering. There have been about 52 cases of it. People can start to think irrationally and may be in a state of mind that prevents them from making rational decisions. The person can be dealing with