Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide

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Assisted Suicide
     Jill Allene, RN, visited Gus, an elderly patient at a hospice clinic. The next day Gus swallowed a lethal mixture of medications that had been prescribed by his physician, and fell into a deep sleep. He died soon after. Because it was his decision to take his own life, doesn’t mean that he wins the battle with his disease, but he did win the war - a war of control. He wished simply to die on his own terms, under circumstances he chose. Like others in Oregon who have opted to use that state’s legalized physician-assisted suicide (PAS). It wasn’t the unrelenting surges of pain or incapacitating waves of nausea that encouraged Gus to call it quits; it was an unquenchable thirst for autonomy. Pulmonary disease didn’t kill Gus – Gus killed himself. (Nursing Spectrum 6)
     Assisted suicide is a very controversial issue, which always seems to be a topic at hand. Because this topic causes quite the up-roar, there have been very strong opinions form both for and against assisted suicide. Each side having justified reasons of why they believe that it should or should not be allowed. But the fact is, that some patients have respectable reasons for their request in their passing. There are people out there have very little of their life left to live, and like Gus would like to move along based on their own terms.
     Like Gus, a terminally ill person with a sickness, leaves them with no choice but death. On the other hand, why not give these innocent people the right to make the decision themselves. These terminally ill people should be able to keep their dignity of life, and choose terms of their own and not have to live with the ones given to them unwillingly.
     On the other hand the action of assisted suicide is already occurring especially in the United States today. It deals with basically the same thing as assisted suicide, when a doctor consoles the patient’s family, and come to a decision of pulling the plug. The patient cannot help but lay there, helplessly, until total body failure. In this situation here the life of a person is placed in the hands of the family and doctor. In both situations here a life of a person is being place on the line. Which option sounds more just, the option of a person’s life being taken form them based on the decision of someone else, or the option of a terminally ill person choosing to die based on one’s own decision.

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     What is assisted suicide really? In the magazine “Nursing Spectrum,” assisted suicide is defined as being, the provision of a means to end one’s life, such as a prescription for lethal amount of a drugs or the drug itself. It is said that an assisted suicide occurs every day, yet Oregon is the only state where assisted suicide has been legalized. In 1997 the Death with Dignity Act was finalized, taking nearly three years for it to come into action. The only thing is, is that there is a catch. Before one can qualify, first you must be a legal resident of Oregon; must at least be 18 years of age, capable of communicating his or her health care decisions, have less than six months to live, and must request the assistance twice. But the requests must be separated by 15 days. So you see here that Oregon has gone though all the detail, making exception for only those select few who qualify.
     In conclusion, assisted suicide would be a better alternative than a natural death for that terminally ill person. It would be less painful for both the person and their family. It has been and probably always will be a controversial issue in our society. Maybe if you would put yourself in the shoes of that terminally ill person, would you want this as an option?
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