Physician Assisted Suicide: An Analysis

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Oregon, the first state to legalize PAS in 1997, passed the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) which allowed patients to end their life by taking a lethal dose of a medication prescribed by a physician. In the article, “The Case for Physician Assisted Suicide: How Can It Possiblye Be Proven?,” the authors, E. Dahl and N. Levy, state that the proponents of PAS believe that there have been several reports of terminally ill patients abusing the DWDA which can be caused by mental illnesses or depression. Due to the possibility of physicians abusing the right to prescribe terminally ill patients lethal doses of a medication, many doubt whether physicians should play a large role in the process of PAS. In the article, “Should Psychiatrists Serve as…show more content…
In the article, “A Test for Mental Capacity to Request Assisted Suicide,” Cameron Stewart, Carmelle Peisah, and Brian Draper, claim that “the mental competence of people requesting aid-in dying is a key issue for how the law responds to cases of assisted suicide” (Stewart et al. p 34). They develop this by defining the problem of the mental competence of the suicidal person. Then, they formulate a test that will test for mental capability by seeing if the patient can: “comprehend and retain treatment information,” “weigh the information and reach a decision; and communicate the decision” (Stewart et al. p 34). Next, they even provide cases of patients who committed competent suicide, meaning that they patient was mentally capable and was fully aware with their desire to end their life by any means. They state what a terminally ill patient must be able to do and appreciate in order to legally qualify for PAS: getting a diagnosis and prediction from a physician, being made aware of the possible risks and side effects that come along with taking the prescribed medication, and any alternatives like hospice, and pain control (Stewart et al. p…show more content…
In Jewish teachings and traditions, they base the permittance of suicide based on pain and suffering. In the article, “Jewish Perspectives on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” Ze’ev W. Falk comments on the views ofn suicide in the Jewish religion. He develops this by explaining the rabbinical teachings on suffering to “use suffering to examine one’s deeds and return to God” (Falk 380). The tradition of certain religious Jewish figures state that one must accept whatever happens with respect and love, so that he or she will acquire the present and future worlds. Falk also explains the difference between “pains which are a punishment and those which are the expression of divine love” (Falk p 380). He also explains the way Jewish value life: “Every human creature has been created Imago Dei, so that respect for him or her is needed as much as respect for his Creator” which means that one must respect their creator and accept everything they are given and endure (Falk p 381). Falk then goes on to explain that if the patient is in extreme pain and suffering, then their suicide is justified to prevent them feelingrom tortured. Towards the end of the text, Falk goes on to explain that the prohibition of suicide got stronger over the years, but exceptions are made for patients who are in extreme pain and
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