Physician Assisted Suicide

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Should physicians be able to assist patients who are terminally ill end their lives? Physician assisted suicide is a very controversial subject. In today’s society, people who commit suicide are known as “insane,” a person who takes prescription pills is known as a “drug addict” or “criminal.” However, when a doctor honors a patient’s request for a lethal dose of medicine, (which the patient will inject themselves) to end their life in peace is considered to be a murderer. However, when a physician unplugs a terminally ill patient who is on life support at the patient’s request is just doing their job. However, a person whose quality of life is nonexistent and are faced with a terminal illness should have the right to decide to seek physicians assistance.

Physician-assisted suicide is defined as a voluntary termination of one’s own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2011). The provision of equipment, medication, or information to a patient by a physician for the purpose of assisting the patient in ending his or her own life (WebMD, 2009, p. 333).

A terminal illness is an infection or disease which is considered ultimately fatal or incurable. Usually a patient is considered to have a terminal illness if he or she seems likely to die despite diagnosis and treatment, although it is possible for people with a terminal illness to live for years before succumbing to the medical condition. A patient is considered terminally ill, when a physician tells them that they have six months or less of survival left in life (Smith, 2011).

Should terminally ill patients have the right to choose how they would like to die? There ar...

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...ceedingly high. Which makes you ask who is going to pay the bill for all the thousand of people who are being sustained in a persistent vegetative state (Newman, 1996).

3. People are already doing it. It’s reality!

Works Cited

Clarence, H. B. I., MD. (2010, October 25). Physician-aid in dying. .

Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (2011). Physician-assisted suicide. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2011, from

Naik, A. (2011, March 7). Mercy killings pros and cons.

Newman, E. (1996). Making the final choice: Should physician-assisted suicide be legalized? San Diego, CA: Truth Seeker Co., Inc.

Smith, L. (2011). Mercy killing.

Smith, S. E. (2011, September 12). What is terminal illness.

WebMD. (2009). . In Webster's new world (3rd edition). Retrieved October 5, 2011, from

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