Assess the Intent and Impact of Publicity-Oriented Legal Challenges to Physician-Assisted Suicide

3908 Words Feb 13th, 2012 16 Pages
HS542ON Section A Nov 2011
Health Rights and Responsibilities
Professor A. Dennis
Research Paper
Assess the intent and impact of publicity-oriented legal challenges to physician-assisted suicide
12/11/2011

Background A retired social worker, Smith, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 86. He said that he has no regrets but worries about the pain. "Death itself is not a fearful consideration for me," he said. "But the process of dying could be if it were extremely uncomfortable." He is in no haste to die but expects that he will feel severe pain when the cancer reaches its final phases and when it happens; he would want his doctor to be able to prescribe him with a toxic dose of medication that he can use to end his life
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Kevorkian administered a lethal injection. Dr. Kevorkian was tried for first degree murder in Oakland County, Michigan as the result of the TV show. Prosecutors argued that, in administering a lethal injection to Youk, his actions constituted euthanasia rather than PAS. Kevorkian was convicted of second degree murder in 1998, sentenced to a 15-25 year term of which he served 8 years, and was released in 2007 (Levine, 2009) .
In Florida, the court ruled that an AID dying man do have the right to inject himself with the lethal dose of medication prescribed to him by his physician. The court said that a dying person’s right to physician-assisted suicide is under the privacy issues of the constitution (Rutter, 1994). The Death with Dignity Act of Oregon, Washington, and Montana has harsh patient eligibility criteria that limit access to competent, legal residents of over age 18, with terminal illness that were given an estimated life expectancy of 6 months or less which is to be confirmed by two independent physicians. There is also a requirement for two oral requests with a 15-day waiting period in between, as well as a written request that must be witnessed. The prescriptions may be written by the physician not less than 48 hours after the receipt of the written request. Patients must be mentally and physically be able to
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