Physician Assisted Death And Euthanasia

1450 WordsAug 1, 20156 Pages
Physician-assisted death has been a hotly debated subject in the later 20th and early 21st century. The subject of physician-assisted death and euthanasia brings about a multitude of ethical dilemmas and causes people to dig deep into personal morals and self-evaluation. In this paper the different types of euthanasia will be defined, Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and similar the laws enacted in Washington, Montana, and Vermont will be assessed, and the roles and viewpoints of healthcare professionals will be discussed. Active versus passive euthanasia are two different, albeit arguably similar, ways in which an individual is helped to die. Passive euthanasia involves withholding life-saving medical treatment or removal from life…show more content…
Another type of active euthanasia is “active voluntary euthanasia (AVE) whereby, upon request by the patient, the physician ends the patient’s life through direct action (e.g., injecting a lethal dose of a drug into a patient)” (Leming & Dickinson, 2016) and it is illegal to practice in the United States. Dr. Kevorkian, the famous euthanasia activist and physician was convicted of second degree homicide in 1999, for administering a lethal dose of medication to Thomas Youk, a 52 year old man in the end stages of Lou Gehrigs disease, at the patients request. Oregon passed a law in 1994 making physician-assisted death legal. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, Measure 16, was the first of its kind to be passed in the United States. “The Act would permit adult Oregon residents, who had voluntarily expressed the wish to die, to make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner. The patient’s attending physician was required to fulfill a list of responsibilities, including the initial determination of a terminal illness, and had to consult a second physician to confirm the terminal diagnosis” (Purvis, 2012). Additionally patients requesting physician-assisted death must be Oregon residents, be a minimum of 18 years of age, have six or less months to live, and make three separate requests for physician-assisted death, two oral requests (at least fifteen days apart), and
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