Braddock, Clarence, and Mark Tonelli. "Physician Aid-in-Dying: Ethical Topic in Medicine." Ethics in Medicine. University of Washington, 2009. Web. 3 March 2015.
Currently, physician-assisted suicide or death is illegal in all states except Oregon, Vermont, Montana and Washington. Present law in other states express that suicide is not a crime, but assisting in suicide is. Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that the moral right to life should encompass the right to voluntary death. Opponents of assisted suicide claim that society has a moral and civic duty to preserve the lives of innocent persons. There is a slippery slope involving the legalizing assisted suicide. Concern that assisted suicide allowed on the basis of mercy or compassion, can and will lead to the urging of the death for morally unjustifiable reasons is understandable. However, legalization can serve to prevent the already existent practice of underground physician-assisted suicide if strict laws to ensure that the interests of the patients are primary are installed and enforced. When a patient asks for assistance in dying, their wishes should be respected as long as the patient is free from coercion and competent enough to give informed consent. The intent of this work is to examine the legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands and to argue that assisted suicide is morally and ethically acceptable in theory despite some unintended consequences of its implementation.
When it comes to the topic of, should physician assisted suicide (PAS) be legal in every state, most of us will agree that its ones decision if they would like to end their own life with the help of a physician that is if they meet certain criteria for their terminal illness which they have so much time to live. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of what makes a terminally ill person qualify for this kind of service and what the guidelines are. Whereas some are convinced that this practice is inhumane and unethical, others maintain that it’s a person’s choice to decide their own death.
Assisted suicide is a very contentious topic in the world today. Everyone has their own opinion on this subject and it is a socially debated subject that involves a person making a choice, whether it is a choice to continue on with their life or give up hope and end their life. This should be a choice a person should make for themselves. While in the United States only one state has legalized assisted suicide. I agree with assisted suicide and this paper will support my feelings on this subject.
Physician assisted suicide, also known as right to die has become a hot button issue within the last twenty years. The reason behind the interest is because in the “land of the free” known as America, that promotes independence and personal rights; it seems quite regressive to many to deny a person their right to die. After the 1997 Supreme Court decision which declined to nationally recognize assisted suicide, Chief Justice William Rehquist stated this issue best when he said we are “engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of physician assisted suicide as it should in a democratic society”(Karim Paragraph 10). Cut to 2014 and over ten years later this issue has gained more momentum than ever, specifically in California after the California Compassionate Choices Act following the passing and implementation of The Dignity Act in Oregon (Tucker 1611). The benefits of assisted suicide include an end in suffering for patients while saving their family from future debt and allowing their organs and the energy used to keep them alive to save others who can live a complete and healthy life. There is some personal and moral opposition to physician assisted suicide nationally, but the positives outweigh the negatives and California should take further steps in aiding and providing options for those dying.
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.
Medical science has experienced significant advancement since the 1960s, and has made great progress in prolonging people’s lives, even giving time to those who are suffering from terminal illnesses. However, some patients, after weighing the high costs of medical procedures and the vastly limited lifestyle of those living on borrowed time turn toward assisted suicide as a possible option. Assisted suicide is based on the belief that individuals should be allowed access to medical assistance to end their lives voluntarily, when and how they choose. Assisted suicide typically involves the physician or doctor providing access to a lethal dose of medication, which the patient then self-administers. Physician-assisted suicide differs slightly from active euthanasia as it requires the patient to be the one to administer the lethal dose, instead of the allowing the physician to do so. The practice of withholding certain medical treatments based on an informed patient’s refusal, and stopping life-support treatment, or not starting it in the first place is already legal and commonplace. Neither of these measures is considered killing, even though such decision result in the death of the patient. However, the line blurs in the case of assisted suicide, and in the eyes of many people, and under the law in most places, assisted suicide is killing, which is illegal.
There are not many issues more personal or controversial than assisted suicide. It is a highly debatable topic which involves the aide of physicians offering the terminally ill patient with the knowledge or means or both needed to commit suicide, prescribing a lethal dose of medication. Watching a family member in pain or critical health conditions can be extremely heartbreaking, especially for a terminal illness. Unfortunately, decisions have to be made–no matter how unpleasant they are–so what is the next step? Assisted suicide or physician-assisted suicide(PAS) is one alternative for terminally ill patients with mental competence, though it is no easy task debating between two ends of the right to die. It has divided opinions among people regarding the matter of suffering, use of resources, morality and limitations of the law. In fact, only a handful of countries, including the US, allow this practice. Whereas in the US, only five states- CA, OR, VT, WA and MT- allow assisted suicide
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 (PAS) involves the process of prescribing drugs that are in between the range of more active than switching off a ventilator and less active than drug injection (Kassier 51). In 1994, Oregon became the first state that legalize PAS (Kassier 50). Since then, the public has slowly supported PAS. Survey has found out that about two third of the American population and more than half of the doctors agreed on the PAS policy (Kassier 51). However, there are also many organizations that oppose PAS. This is due to the ethical dilemma and potential problems that PAS could bring to the society. Firstly, PAS might be more vulnerable to the elder, poor, mentally ill, and disabled then people of other classes (Kassier 52). These
In today’s society, physicians are held to high moral and ethical standards in helping patients achieve obtainable and mutually agreed upon goals for their health. However, for the patients constantly suffering from unrelieved pain as a result of a terminal illness, the goals in place and the maximum quality of life they can achieve, may not seem worth the effort to remain alive. As it is the physician’s duty to insure patients are as comfortable as possible, an ethical issue arises when the patient seeks to have the physician assist directly or indirectly in the hastening of their death to achieve a painless and nonsuffering state. Currently, there are two dominant methods in which this can be achieved and that is by euthanasia or physician-assisted
There are many legal and ethical issues when discussing the topic of physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The legal issues are those regarding numerous court cases over the past few decades, the debate over how the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution comes into play, and the legalization vs. illegalization of this practice. The 14th Amendment states, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, §1). PAS in the past has been upheld as illegal due to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the constitution, but in recent years this same 14th amendment is also part of the reasoning for legalizing PAS, “nor shall any State deprive any person of…liberty” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, §1). The ethical issues surrounding this topic include a patient’s autonomy and dignity and if PAS should be legalized everywhere. This paper is an analysis of the PAS debate and explores these different issues using a specific case that went to the supreme courts called Washington et al. v. Glucksberg et al.