Imagine a loved one who is terminally ill. Think of the memories and laughs you’ve shared over the years. Every birthday, special occasion, and every holiday you’ve spent sitting around the table sharing stories. Could you assist that loved one in their own death? Can you imagine being the responsible party that ended their life? Physician assisted suicide is this exact concept. Physicians assist their patients in committing suicide by offering deadly drugs and narcotics. Some may see this act as humane, however; physician assisted suicide is morally wrong and unnecessary.
Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in American society that must be dealt with. In assisted suicide, a patient who is terminally ill requests the doctor to administer a lethal dose of medication to end his life. Assisted suicide brings up many moral and legal issues regarding the right of a patient to die with respect and the duties of a doctor. This issue is divided among people who believe that doctor assisted suicide is illegal and immoral and those who believe that suicide is a right that people have. Doctors who aid a patient to commit suicide are performing an illegal act and should be penalized to the full extent of the law.
Physician assisted suicide or euthanasia should be a right granted to all citizens who are suffering from a degenerative, painful, or fatal condition that would cause them to be unable to enjoy their lives as healthy people do. Although there are certainly several debates against this viewpoint on assisted suicide, it is not up to ethicists to make decisions that infringe upon the rights of the ill and infirm. As it stands, there is a solid argument in favor of human euthanasia or physician assisted suicide. Patients have a right to make their own decisions to preserve free choice and human dignity. This right includes the right to choose assisted suicide. Having access to physician-assisted suicide allows the patient to maintain control over his or her situation and to end life in an ethical and merciful manner.
I feel that assisted suicide is a practice that should not only be legally acceptable, but socially acceptable as well. No one should be forced to live a life of pain and suffering. After all, aren't we all guaranteed the rights of life, liberty, and happiness? If happiness means freedom from pain and suffering, then assisted suicide should be legalized. A person willing to help sick people end their suffering should be praised rather than condemned. Some terminally ill patients are forced to face imaginable pain and suffering on a day-to-day basis. This intolerable pain causes these people to experience an unbearably poor quality of life. Yet, if you help these patients end their life, you will probably end up in jail. I feel that being forced to live in intolerable conditions is the real crime. People such as Dr. Kevorkian should not be punished for doing a good deed. He should in fact be praised for heeling the pain of a dying person. Having to live a life where every passing minute is dreaded is something that no person should have to experience. Money is a big issue to everyone whether they admit or not. Should a person and their family be forced to spend thousands of dollars a day on medical expenses just so the patient can continue living a life he doesn't even want to keep? This medical treatment, in some instances, can only extend a life by mere weeks. In theory, this treatment is just adding on more weeks of pain and suffering. Not only does the patient have to suffer, but the family members have to suffer watching their loved ones live in agony. Furthermore, these medical expenses are probably covered by government medical aid. If this money is being spent on someone who doesn't even want the help, wouldn't it make more sense to spend the money on people who desperately need it? This money could be better spent on saving people's lives that actually want to live. Cancer patients could be allotted more money to pay for their chemotherapy. Aids patients would be able to earn federal assistance in purchasing their desperately needed medication. The extra money could also be used to improve the quality of peoples' lives who are forced to live in unpleasant conditions. For example, burn victims could earn extra money to help pay for their reconstructive surgery.
Physician assisted suicide is a choice. A choice of how to beat an inevitable death. It is in no way a path for everyone. If one’s idea of dying proud is fighting to the end, and letting their ailment engulf them, then that is their choice. Or if leaving this earth at peace, and being able to say “I lived a great life, and I intend to leave feeling accomplished”, is another’s way of dying dignified then so be it. It’s not about which option is taken, it’s that either way, we should have a choice and it should be ours to make.
Envision someone lying in a hospital bed hooked up to several machines. There are doctors and nurses coming in constantly to check up on them while they are trying to get what little sleep they can through the pain, fatigue, and the slow wasting away of their body due to some sort of rare disease. On top of that they are suffering from side effects from countless drugs, constipation, delirium, and they can barely breathe. They have no appetite because they are constantly nauseated or throwing up. Their doctor has given them no chance of survival and they only have a few weeks left to live. They have said their goodbyes and they have come to terms with dying. They are prepared to meet their assumed maker. Now if someone had the chance to choose how their life ended would they take advantage of it? In March of 1998, a woman suffering with cancer did. She became the first person known to die under the law on physician-assisted suicide in the state of Oregon when she took a lethal dose of drugs. This law does not include people who are on a life support system and it also does not include those who have not voluntarily asked physicians to help them commit suicide. Many people worry that legalizing doctor assisted suicide appears irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine and people argue that the reason why some terminally ill patients yearn to commit suicide is nothing more than depression. Physician-Assisted Suicide would lessen the human life or end the suffering and pain of those on the verge of dying; Physician-Assisted Suicide needs to be figured out for those in dire need of it or for those fighting against it. Physician-Assisted Suicide is currently illegal in 46 states; however it is legal in Vermont, Washi...
Up to 8.5% of terminally ill patients express a sustained and persuasive for an early death (Marks and Rosielle). Terminally ill patients have long lasting, painful deaths and they should have the option of assisted suicide so they don’t have to go through that. Assisted suicide is when a patient writes a written request to a doctor and after two days the doctor can prescribe lethal drugs to the patient (Engber). The doctor can’t administer them himself, that would be euthanasia, the patients has to take them him or herself (Engber). Assisted suicide should be legal because it ends patient's suffering and pain, and it is their individual right to determine their own fate.
Should terminally ill patients be allowed to ask medical professions to help end their life? “This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects such as, legal, ethical, human rights, health, religious, economic, spiritual, social, and cultural aspects of the civilized society.” In Oregon, enough people believed in it so much that in 1997 the Death with Dignity Act was put into effect, enabling a competent adult who desired to end their life access to a lethal dose of medication. Following Oregon, only three other states have legalized physician assisted suicide. 43 other states have firmly put their foot down against it. With bad tastes left in the mouths of many from high profile cases like Dr. Kevorkian. It is no surprise it has become so complicated when it comes to allowing a human to intentionally end their own life. I, for one, do believe in assisted suicide. I feel if one is a terminally ill competent patient who wishes to end their suffering, it is their right to do so, with the help of a doctor who is comfortable administrating the medication. But, the debate will go on, bringing me to the argument: should assisted suicide laws be changed?
Imagine that you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer and given six months to live. The remainder of your life will be spent in a hospital undergoing treatment and suffering from unbearable pain. Do you want to die or do you want to live the rest of your life in agony? The controversial issue of doctor assisted suicide is followed by a big question. Should states legalize doctor assisted suicide? Physician assisted suicide gives the right for physicians to administer to certain patients lethal doses of drugs with the intention of ending a patients life (Coburn 266). My research for this argument was based on Jack Kervorkian, better known as "doctor death." He has admitted helping more than 130 people end their lives (BBC News Online Network). Kevorkian is from Michigan and has stood trial a number of times for practicing physician assisted suicide. In his latest trial, April 13, 1999, he was charged with a second-degree murder conviction with a penalty of 10-25 years imprisonment with no possibility of bail (Hyde). Dr. Jack Kevorkian stated in the trial that it was his "duty as a doctor" to help patients end their suffering by taking their own lives (Lessenberry 16). In my argument I am going to discuss the issue of whether or not he should have been found guilty of murder. Assisting anyone in death is murder and the court was correct when they charged Kevorkian guilty of murder.
For hundreds of years we have developed a system where human beings establish and revise rules and regulations that help protect individual lives in our society. However this protection ends when it is time to die. Legalizing physician assisted suicide is
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 ethical issues of physician-assisted suicide are both emotional and controversial, as it struggles with the issue of life and death. If you take a moment and imagine how you would choose to live your last day, it is almost guaranteed that it wouldn’t be a day spent lying in a hospital bed, suffering in pain, continuously being pumped with medicine, and living in a strangers’ body. Today we live in a culture that denies the terminally ill the right to maintain control over when and how to end their lives. Physicians-assisted suicide “is the voluntary termination of one's own life by the administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician” (Medical Definition of Physician-Assisted Suicide, 2017). Physician-assisted
According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, between 1990 and 1999, a well-known advocate for physician assisted suicide, Jack Kevorkian helped 130 patients end their lives. He began the debate on assisted suicide by assisting a man with committing suicide on national television. According to Dr. Kevorkian, “The voluntary self-elimination of individual and mortally diseased or crippled lives taken collectively can only enhance the preservation of public health and welfare” (Kevorkian). In other words, Kevor...
The Dr. Kevorkian case is important for medical ethics, because it brings up the issues of physician-assisted suicide and physician-assisted death. Physician-assisted suicide is where the doctor is assisting the patient in suicide, but the patient actually performs the act. Physician-assisted death, also known as euthanasia, is when the doctor does the act to bring about the patient’s death based on the patient’s request. This brings up the limitations of beneficence. Does a doctor have the right to end a patient’s life to relieve their suffering?