Physician Assisted Dying Cases Essay

644 Words3 Pages
Tony Nicklson, a father of two, starves himself to death after the Supreme Court rejects his request to “die with dignity” with the help of medical professionals. A graduate student faces ten years in jail for shooting his dying brother after the court refused his plea to die. A retired magistrate, suffering from multiple sclerosis, refuses to take any medication or palliatives to help the fight to change the law on physician assisted dying. These are some of the recent headlines telling stories of people fighting to legalize physician aid in dying (PAD). Currently, PAD is illegal in most states except for Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont. I believe that PAD is an essential constitutional right, and should be legalized in all…show more content…
Legalizing PAD doesn’t mean legalizing euthanasia. The key difference between these two practices is who administers the lethal dose; Euthanasia requires the physician or other party to administer the lethal dose, which places the responsibility of the physician, whereas PAD requires the patient to take the dose him/herself. In other words, with euthanasia the physician is in control, while with PAD the patient is in control of his own destiny.
Advocates for “the right to die” have been attempting to legalize PAD since 1906. Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to pass the law in 1994. Since then there have been more than 135 legislative proposals in 27 states, most of these bills were either defeated, withdrawn by sponsors, languished with no action taken or are pending like in Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
To advance the implementation of PAD laws, I suggest establishing several educational programs to raise the public awareness of this matter. Also, to ensure proper compliance with the guidelines, a medical legal committee should be established to investigate the underlying facts of each case reported. Such committee should also keep records and stats for each doctor, hospital and state performing PAD.
Opposing parties to PAD usually argue that this practice lowers the value of life and might lead to a higher number of patients giving up on their treatment; however,
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