The Death With Dignity Act

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Last Call Oftentimes when one hears the term Physician Assisted Suicide (hereafter PAS) the words cruel and unethical come to mind. On October 27, 1997 Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act, this act would allow terminally ill Oregon residents to end their lives through a voluntary self-administered dose of lethal medications that are prescribed by a physician (Death with Dignity Act) . This has become a vital, medical and social movement. Having a choice should mean that a terminally ill patient is entitled to the choice to pursue PAS. If people have the right to refuse lifesaving treatments, such as chemo and palliative care, then the choice of ending life with PAS should be a choice that is allowed. However, “The United States Supreme Court found that liberty as defined in the 14th Amendment does not include the right to assistance in dying” (Vacco v. Quill). It was later decided that the responsibility for determining whether assisted death should be legalized should belong to individual states. According to a report by CNN, in 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill, mentally able adults. Today there are five states in which physician assisted suicide is legal. In Oregon, Vermont, Washington and California the option is given by each states individual laws. In Montana the patient must have a court decision. Oregon was the first state to pass the death with dignity act. The Death with Dignity Act (hereafter DWDA) allows terminally ill patients who are Oregon residents to obtain and use the prescription from their physician to self-administer lethal medications. Under the Act, ending one’s life is in accordance with the law and does not constitute as suicide. The Death with Dign... ... middle of paper ... ...oyed in the background. On November 1, 2014 Brittany passed peacefully in her bedroom just like she had planned. Some may not agree with the fact that Britany planned her death, but many can see that she no longer had to suffer, and her family no longer had to watch her suffer. Instead of nature taking its course and killing Brittany through unbearable pain, she was able to pass peacefully with loved ones at her side, and with the chance to say “goodbye”. In closing, despite all of the different opinions that people have on PAS, there are many good outcomes that come with the decision. Having the right to make a “choice” is what PAS comes down to. Many argue that it is inhumane, while many will argue that it is a choice. If choosing PAS as a last dying right, then one should respect that choice. It is a choice and only the patient should have the right to choose.

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