Essay PreviewMore ↓
"This is really not happening very often," says survey co-author Dr. Diane Meier of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "That's the most important finding. It's a rare event" [Associated Press, 4/23/98].
The survey was based on a questionnaire sent in 1996 to 3,102 physicians under the age of 65; 1,902 doctors responded anonymously. In all, 11% of respondents said they had ever received a request for a lethal injection (euthanasia) and 18% said they had been asked for a prescription for an overdose of pills to end life (assisted suicide). Five percent said they had ever given such an injection, while 3 % had written a lethal prescription; since some doctors had done both, the cumulative total of doctors who had ever helped deliberately end a patient's life was 6%. While most of those who engaged in such behavior had done so only once or twice, one doctor claimed to have written 25 prescriptions and given 150 lethal injections.
While responses were confidential and untraceable, the authors note that the survey may underreport these practices. On the other hand, the surveys were deliberately sent to doctors in ten specialties identified in previous surveys as "those in which physicians are likely to receive requests from patients for assistance in hastening death" [New England J. of Medicine, 4/23/98, p. 1193]. Thus the survey may overestimate the percentage of all U.S. physicians who have assisted suicides or performed euthanasia. The survey found that these practices are most common on the West coast, where one state, Oregon, voted to legalize assisted suicide in 1994 [p. 4].
Earlier surveys, usually confined to a particular state or region, had produced higher estimates for the frequency of assisted suicide or euthanasia [e.g., "1 in 5 Doctors Say They Assisted a Patient's Death, Survey Finds," Boston Globe, 2/28/92]. The new survey differed from these in having its questions tested beforehand with focus groups of physicians, to minimize confusion between these practices and medical actions which may indirectly or unintentionally hasten death.
Noting that 36% of doctors in the survey said they might assist suicides if the practice were legal, the Hemlock Society declared that the results support its position favoring legalization.
How to Cite this Page
"Doctor-Assisted Suicide is Rare." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... in Pickert). “The duty of the physician is to preserve life, protect and restore health, relieve suffering and to be there for the dying until death”(Oduncu). The doctor 's duty is in no way to end a patient’s life. Doctors are meant to do anything they can within their ability to preserve and care for life. Changing the duty of doctors would negatively affect the patient-doctor relationship because it would destroy the sense of total comfort. The responsibility of the doctor in the case of a terminally ill patient is not to offer them death but to comfort them and provide them with proper care so that they may die with dignity.... [tags: Death, Suicide, Physician, Patient]
937 words (2.7 pages)
- The Vegetative State and Euthanasia Much media attention has been directed at the very practical use of euthanasia or assisted suicide on patients who are in a vegetative state or irreversible coma. The truth is that a significant number of such cases actually recover. This essay is devoted to those types, some very young, who would have been killed if euthanasia/assisted suicide had been legalized. Let's begin our consideration with a nine-year-old named Ryan Atencio. He was taken off life-support systems, except for a feeding tube, after being in a vegetative state following a massive head injury in a December 10, 1988 car accident.... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
2499 words (7.1 pages)
- Euthanasia The purpose of this essay is to inform readers clearly and coherently enoughof the terms and issues in the euthanasia debate that they can make sense of the euthanasia question. Descriptions are in relatively simple, non-technical language to facilitate learning. The definition of euthanasia is simple: "Easy, painless death." But the concept of euthanasia proposed by adherents of the euthanasia movement is complex and has profound consequences for all. Because the subject involves the discipline of medicine (diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, medical ethics and so on) as well as the discipline of law, the general public will have difficulty understanding it without some kno... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
994 words (2.8 pages)
- Euthanasia and the Will to Live The denial of food and fluids to Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the 36 year old Florida woman in a vegetative state since a heart attack, has caused Americans to ponder the fact that any one of them could be in this woman's place for a variety of reasons, like an auto accident, fall, mishap, etc. And most Americans don't want to be treated by their family as Terri is being treated by her husband - being denied food and fluids in order to hasten death. It is appropriate to be appalled, but no one should be shocked.... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
596 words (1.7 pages)
- America Needs Voluntary Euthanasia There are at least two forms of suicide. One is 'emotional suicide', or irrational self-murder in all of it complexities and sadness. Let me emphasis at once that my view of this tragic form of self-destruction is the same as that of the suicide intervention movement and the rest of society, which is to prevent it wherever possible. I do not support any form of suicide for mental health or emotional reasons. But I do say that there is a second form of suicide -- justifiable suicide, that is, rational and planned self-deliverance from a painful and hopeless disease which will shortly end in death.... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
1933 words (5.5 pages)
- Rebutting Arguments to Legalize Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide This essay focuses on several of the most common arguments in favor of the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide - and rebuts them. The language is simple, or, as they say, in layman's terms so as to be easily understandable. The sources are from professional journals, internet websites, and news outlets. The first common argument favoring euthanasia or assisted suicide is this: "Since euthanasia and assisted suicide take place anyway, isn't it better to legalize them so they'll be practiced under careful guidelines and so that doctors will have to report these activities?" That sounds good but it doesn't wor... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
1719 words (4.9 pages)
- ... National Right to Live News says, “vulnerable people feel pressured to choose death” and “saying to elderly, vulnerable people: ‘would you like us to help you die now?’ immediately makes them feel that their life has no worth.” In addition, some people feel vulnerable and obligated to continue with PAS. Daniel Callahan, a bioethicist says, “A lot of seriously ill people already feel they’re a burden because they’re costing their families money.”(Humphry) It is often said the decision is the patient’s, but it’s difficult to deny that often times they’re persuaded in some way.... [tags: Suffering, Suicide, Death, Euthanasia]
2261 words (6.5 pages)
- In today’s world, medical advances have grown exponentially from the last fifty years compared to the five-hundred years before. The knowledge the medical community possess about the human body and what doctors can do to treat is simply breath taking. Is this masterpiece of keeping someone alive the right decision. Yes, it can be, but in some cases it is wrong. This is where the controversial practice of physician assisted-suicide comes up. Physician assisted-suicide is illegal in all but four states and in a few others, under rare circumstances, court rulings have allowed for physician assisted-suicide in states in which the practice is illegal.... [tags: Medicine, Physician, Hippocrates, United States]
1585 words (4.5 pages)
- ... Dr. Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, has argued that dying patients should have a legal right to end their own lives. Physician-assisted suicide isn 't "a choice between life and death," she says, "It 's a choice of the exact timing and the manner of death, because these patients are dying."(Hensley Scott)Continuing the treatment would not 100 percent cure the patients, but put them into an even worse condition that they have to suffer from avoidable pain and other symptoms in their final days.... [tags: Physician, Medicine, Death, Suffering]
1103 words (3.2 pages)
- Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide There has been much debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide with no agreement in sight. Currently Oregon is the only state that allows euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States. Like all questions involving the projection of personal beliefs upon the fate of an entire population, this is an issue that may never be resolved. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are methods people may take to end their lives either on their own with lethal prescriptions from physicians, or under the care of a doctor or assistant with various methods, lethal injection and the "pulling of the plug" on life support machines being the most commo... [tags: Papers]
759 words (2.2 pages)
Simultaneously with the publication of the survey results, co-author Dr. Diane Meier published an opinion piece in the New York Times explaining her own change of heart on the assisted suicide issue. She says that she once favored legalization, but "after caring for many patients myself, I now think that the risks of assisted suicide outweigh the benefits." Proposed safeguards in laws like Oregon's, she argues, are "unrealistic and largely irrelevant to the reality faced by the dying" -- for example, ensuring that a patient's choice is not coerced is "an impossible task." She adds that "legalizing assisted suicide would become a cheap and easy way to avoid the costly and time-intensive care needed by the terminally ill" [Diane Meier, "A Change of Heart on Assisted Suicide," The New York Times, 4/24].