LEGALIZATION OF ASSISTED SUICIDE IN THE U.S. Currently, physician-assisted suicide or death is

2900 WordsApr 23, 201912 Pages
LEGALIZATION OF ASSISTED SUICIDE IN THE U.S. Currently, physician-assisted suicide or death is illegal in all states except Oregon, Vermont, Montana and Washington. Present law in other states express that suicide is not a crime, but assisting in suicide is. Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that the moral right to life should encompass the right to voluntary death. Opponents of assisted suicide claim that society has a moral and civic duty to preserve the lives of innocent persons. There is a slippery slope involving the legalizing assisted suicide. Concern that assisted suicide allowed on the basis of mercy or compassion, can and will lead to the urging of the death for morally unjustifiable reasons is…show more content…
The physician also has the duty of inform the patient of alternative solutions such as palliative care, other pain management options, and hospices. Lastly, the physician must request that the patient notify another individual—a family or friend—of their decision. Despite the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, physicians are not obligated to participate. The patient, if eligible, must also fulfill all the necessary guidelines implemented if they wish to partake in the end of life process. The patient must first submit an oral request to their attending physician. A second oral request follows a 15 day waiting period. Following the second oral request is a written request. If the patient’s request is approved, the patient must wait another 48 hours before receiving their prescribed medications. In general, the law has been successful. The in-hospital mortality rate in Oregon is the lowest in the U.S. It is also important to note that legalization does not equate to the promotion of physician-assisted suicide. Because physicians must inform patients of alternative solutions, the patients become more informed of other resources like hospices. In Oregon, admission rates into hospice have increased—forcing the state to devote more resources toward palliative care. Hospitals and other health care systems in Oregon are most advanced in their ability to address pain management.

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