Physician-Assisted Suicide

1429 Words6 Pages
Physician-Assisted Suicide

Every second of every day somebody in the world dies. Some of these deaths will be natural and others will be unexpected, such as accidents and murders. People with terminal illnesses may feel the desire to die before their natural time. Many will also seek the advice and even help from their health care providers in ending their lives. However, despite the pain and suffering these people may go through everyday, physician-assisted suicide should never need to occur.

We now have the privilege of living in a time where technology can help considerably in the care of the terminally ill, therefore creating other options besides death for these patients. There are cures, vaccines, and a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs to ease pain and symptoms resulting from certain illnesses. In the testimony of Charles F. Gomez before the Subcommittee on the Constitution regarding the legalization of physician-assisted suicide he states, "We now have it well within our technical means to alleviate, to palliate, to comfort, and to control the worst of symptoms among those of our fellow citizens who are terminally ill." He goes on to say, "..the question.before the country at large is whether we have the heart, the courage, and the will to make it so, or whether we will opt for expedience, and call it mercy." If a person performs his or her role as a physician correctly, there would never be a reason for physician-assisted suicide to occur. That is the opinion of Dr. John Mark, a physician at the University of Arizona Medical Center. He feels that there are other means of treating a person with a terminal or painful illness. It is important for a patient to know of all the options that are before them, as well as a clearly defined goal during treatment. There are also ways to end a persons life who wishes to die without actively assisting a death. Dr. Mark feels that a physician can stop treating a patient and still make a patient comfortable while they await for death to take its natural course.

Many other people in the health care profession are against aiding in a patients death. They feel that it is against the ethical code that comes with their titles and though, part of being a doctor may mean aiding in death, it is wrong to actively help a patient commit suicide.
Open Document