Euthanasia And Physician Assisted Suicide

Good Essays

In any discussion of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) it is important to differentiate between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Although they may have similar goals, they differ in whether or not the physician participates in the action that finally ends life. In physician-assisted suicide the physician provides the necessary means or information and the patient performs the act (e.g. the physician provides sleeping pills and information about the lethal dose, while aware that the patient may commit suicide). However, in euthanasia the physician performs the intervention themselves. Currently, just four states (Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana) allow physician-assisted suicide.
Physician-assisted suicide currently remains a felony in New York. Lawmakers supporting efforts to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New York believe it will likely take years, much like allowing medical marijuana did. I believe it’s somewhat hypocritical for physician-assisted suicide to remain illegal when it’s against the law for physicians to intervene when a competent adult patient refuses consent to receive care, even if death would be the likely result. In the meantime, patients with fatal prognosis only have three options available to them. First, they can wait it out until they slowly pass away while receiving palliative care for their pain. Second, those in severe enough pain can enter "palliative sedation," which is similar to a coma. The third option available to them

Get Access