The Right to Physician Assisted Suicide

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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. Medical technology today has achieved remarkable feats in prolonging the lives of human beings. Respirators can support a patient's failin... ... middle of paper ... ...e terminally ill. This right would allow them to leave this earth with dignity, save their families from financial ruin, and relieve them of insufferable pain. To give competent, terminally-ill adults this necessary right is to give them the autonomy to close the book on a life well-lived. Works Cited Barnard, Christaan. Good Life/Good Death. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1980. Beck, Joan. "Answers to Right-to-Die Questions Hard."Houston Chronicle 16 Mar. 1996, late ed.: 36. Cotton, Paul. "Medicine's Position Is Both Pivotal And Precarious In Assisted Suicide Debate." The Journal of the American Association 1 Feb. 1995: 363-64. Dworkin, Ronald. Life's Dominion. New York: Knopf, 1993. Smith, Cheryl. "Should Active Euthanasia Be Legalized: Yes." American Bar Association Journal April 1993. Rpt. in CQ Researcher 5.1 (1995): 409.
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