The Suicide Debate
Does a suffering person have the right to end their own life? That is the main debate behind assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is a very secretive, but surprisingly available option for people who are suffering. The documentary The Suicide Plan is largely presented from the point of view of the people who believe assisted suicide should be legal. The documentary takes us inside the hidden world of assisted suicide, as seen through the eyes of the people considering it. Assisted suicide is only legal for terminally ill patients in the states Oregon and Washington. Individuals in other states who consider assisted suicide are generally suffering terminally ill patients who want the same equal opportunity. There are many organizations that people can reach out to for information about the requirements, the step-by-step process, and what to expect. The organizations have very specific guidelines for their client and patients have to understand that they will be killing themselves. Organizations are not physically involved in the suicide, they do not provide any drugs or materials, and very carefully confirm the individual’s understanding. The organizations help people decide if suicide is the right option for them and are there through out the whole process to support the individual and their families.
One of the many issues for debate is whether these organizations are aiding the suicides. But the laws banning assisted suicide are so vague that “assisting”
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The right to assisted suicide is a topic that interests me personally, for two reasons. I have witnessed terminal patients in pain and agony the only way to end their prolonged suffering is medically assisted death. Secondly, my oldest brother had a brain bleed many years ago and was left in a vegetative state for 10 years, being young with active organs he lived like this non-responsive with a feeding tubing keeping him alive. This was at the same time as the highly publicized Karen Ann Quinlan case who lapsed into a vegetative coma at the age of twenty-one, and the hospital did not want any publicity to assist with hastening his death by removing the feeding tube. Unfortunately
Imagine laying in a hospital bed living everyday in extreme pain with no hope of getting better. This scenario explains what many people go through everyday, which is a living with a terminal illness. M. Lee, a science historian, and Alexander Stingl a sociologist, define terminal illness as “an illness from which the patient is not expected to recover even with treatment. As the illness progresses death is inevitable” (1). There are not many options for the terminally ill besides dying a slow and painful death, but assisted suicide could be best option for these patients. Assisted suicide is “any case in which a doctor gives a patient (usually someone with a terminal illness) the means to carry out their own suicide by using a lethal dose of medication” (Lee and Stingl 1). Some feel that assisted suicide is unnecessary because it is too great of a controversy and will only cause problems in society. However, assisted suicide should be legal in the United States as long as there are strict regulations to accompany it.
Assisted suicide is a topic that has ignited a severe debate due to the controversy that surrounds its implementation. Assisted suicide occurs when a patients expresses their intention to die and request a physician to assist them in the process. Some countries like Oregon, Canada, and Belgium have legalized the process terming it as an alternative to prolonged suffering for patients who are bound to die. Unlike euthanasia where a physician administers the process, assisted suicide requires that the patient voluntarily initiates and executes the process. Although there exists concession such a process is important to assist patients die without much suffering, there has emerged criticism on its risk of abuse and as an expression of medical
Thesis Statement: Although people may be suffering and on the verge of death, assisted suicide should be illegal because there are many options to look upon then just looking at death.
Imagine you have a terminal illness. You are in immense, overwhelming, and constant pain, and it grows hard to bear. The medical bills are rapidly rising to keep you alive, and you know your family is going into debt. Waking up every day hurts more than the last, and the doctors say you have a month, if that, to live. They have checked your results and they know there is nothing you can do but wait. You often find yourself wishing there was a way you could have a peaceful, safe end to everything, surrounded by your family and loved ones. They can get out of debt and go back to their normal lives, and you will be in good hands and choose when you go. Assisted suicide is the practice that can allow an individual to do just that. It is when one
While many Americans assume “assisted suicide” or physician aid-in-dying (PAD) is unethical, they may not be fully aware of what it is and how it helps people. Imagine a loved one of yours was near the end of their life. The doctors predict only six months or less remain of their life and these next six months will consist of excruciating pain and will be almost too unbearable to comprehend. As the six months progress this person will lose the ability to eat. They will be forced to a diet of flaky ice chips which will put them in a state of relentless hunger making their body weaker and more painful than it had been before. They will also lose the ability to care for themselves and will find themselves relying on family members or complete strangers at times to care for their most private needs. After all this treatment, pain, embarrassment, and utter helplessness the patient will feel as if they have lost their dignity, they will feel as if they are a burden to everyone around them and will even become depressed in some cases. If the loved one lives in Washington State, Oregon, or Vermont they will then be faced with two options regarding the next six hypothetical months they can decide to take on the most unbearable six months of their life or they can resort to an alternative called “Death with Dignity” in which they will be administered a dose of medication from their physician that will take their life. The process is painless and can only be administered to patients
Throughout the twentieth century, major scientific and medical advances have greatly enhanced the life expectancy of the average person. However, there are many instances where doctors can preserve life artificially. When society ponders over the idea of physician-assisted suicide, they most likely feel that the act itself would compare to murdering someone. Who really has the authority to say what is right or wrong when a loved one wants to end their life because of a terminal illness or a severe physical disability? Should Physician-assisted suicide be Legal in California to make it a euthanasia state like Oregon ? In the article titled “Nicest Lawmaker Touts Assisted Suicide,” by Clea Benson published The Bakersfield Californian in 2006, the author presents a Republican lawmaker Patty Berg, who is groom pushing a bill allowing assisted suicide be legal in California. Physician assisted suicide should be allowed to those who are terminally ill with a limited amount of time left to live, and shouldn’t be eligible for people who are young, healthy, or have plenty of time to live.
“How to Die in Oregon” is a powerful and moving documentary that really opened my eyes to what assisted suicide is and allowed me to develop opinions and feelings on the topic. Before watching the documentary I didn’t know exactly how assisted suicide worked, but I supported it. I believed it should be in a person’s control and their own decision in certain circumstances to choose life or death for themselves. After watching the documentary, my opinion still holds strong, except I now take it more seriously. Obviously life versus death is a very serious matter, and while I still believe it should be the person’s decision, the choice one person makes can leave devastation in their wake. Their families are left broken and grieving. Losing a loved
Physician-assisted suicide can be described as the act of a terminally ill individual obtaining a lethal prescription in order to exercise their right to die with dignity. Though physician-assisted suicide is highly controversial, it is legally practiced in a small number of states within the United States. Much of the controversy surrounding physician-assisted suicide relates to the social, political, and ethical questions and considerations concerning the practice. Regardless
In the article of “Assisted Suicide” by Mary Ersek, RN, PhD, she gives the reader a broad view of the terms that are used for assisted suicide and how the reader will view the topic based off of their own beliefs and responsibilities. To clarify on the topic she gives the reader terms which are, assisted suicide, active euthanasia, and withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining therapy. Assisted suicide, according to Mary, involves providing the patient with the means (usually a prescription for a lethal dose of barbiturates), knowing that the patient intends to commit suicide. Active euthanasia occurs when a person, usually a physician or nurse, performs an act (such as administering a lethal injection) to end a patient’s life. Lastly, withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining therapy (WWLST) describes discontinuing or forgoing therapies that may keep someone alive, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilation, artificially provided nutrition and hydration, and antibiotics. Moreover, the documentary film by Frontline on suicide, focus on the fact of assisted suicide and how it should be interpreted by both the law and the people. As a result, it focuses on one of the leading right to die organizations in America, Compassion and Choices. Compassion and Choices is also associated with The Final Exit Network, and they always have a final exit guide there at the time of the death or suicide however its perceived. Only after when they were being
The process of assisted suicide, or physician-assisted death, is a hotly debated topic that still remains at the forefront of many national discussions today. Assisted suicide can be described as the suicide of patient by a physician-prescribed dose of legal drugs. The reason that this topic is so widely debated is that it infringes on several moral and religious values that many people in the United States have. But, regardless of the way that people feel, a person’s right to live is guaranteed to them in the United States Constitution, and this should extend to the right to end their own life as well. The reasons that assisted suicide should be legalized in all states is because it can ease not only the suffering of the individual, but the financial burden on the family that is supporting him/her. Regardless of opposing claims, assisted suicide should be an option for all terminally ill patients.
Physician assisted suicide should be morally permissible. Patients who are in constant suffering and pain have the right to end their misery at their own discretion. This paper will explore my thesis, open the floor to counter arguments, explain my objections to the counter arguments, and finally end with my conclusion. I agree with Brock when he states that the two ethical values, self-determination and individual well-being, are the focal points for the argument of the ethical permissibility of voluntary active euthanasia (or physician assisted suicide). These two values are what drives the acceptability of physician assisted suicide because it is the patients who choose their treatment options and how they want to be medically treated. Patients are physically and emotionally aware when they are dying and in severe pain, therefore they can make the decision to end the suffering through the option of physician assisted suicide.
The debate on legalizing assisted suicide is an issue across the globe. It has brought countries to contemplate on the legalities of the matter in their respective legislative branches of government. Assisted suicide is just simply a matter of assessing one's will to perform such act with the permission of the subject or the patient in such way his will be done. The debate now focuses on either the act shall be legalized or not.
“Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back” (Marcus Aurelius). Look in a mirror and imagine someone that has a horrible disease like breast cancer or AIDS and is suffering from all the pain that is killing them. People and terminally ill patients have the right to choose but they do not let patients choose when they want to end their lives when they have a terminal illness. The right to die and the right to choose has been in the Civil Rights for a while now and the other people that disagree would not let the people desire it. Terminally ill patients suffer from cancer and tumors, and they endure a lot of pain that they would kill for something to stop the pain. Death is no crime and does no harm to other people. They might feel mental pain, but no physical pain is inflicted. Assisted Suicide should be legal because it is a Civil Right, it can be for terminally ill patients, and it does not harm others.
The issues surrounding assisted suicide are multifaceted. One could argue the practice of assisted suicide can appear to be a sensible response to genuine human suffering. Allowing health care professionals to carry out these actions may seem appropriate, in many cases, when the decision undoubtedly promotes the patient's autonomy. From this viewpoint, the distinctions made between assisted suicide and the withholding of life-sustaining measures appears artificial and tough to sustain. In many cases, the purpose and consequences of these practices are equivalent. On the contrary, if