Physician Assisted Suicide Essay example

7668 WordsSep 26, 200331 Pages
In today's society, one of the most controversial issues is physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Many people feel that it is wrong for people, regardless of their health condition, to ask their health care provider to end their life; while others feel it is their right to be able to choose how and when they die. When a physician is asked to help a patient into death, they have many responsibilities that come along with that single question. Among those responsibilities are: providing valid information as to the terminal illness the patient is suffering, educating the patient as to what their final options may be, making the decision of whether or not to help the patient into death, and also if they do decide to help,…show more content…
Adkins contacted Kevorkian after hearing about his suicide machine' and asked for his help in assisting her into death, according to Kathlyn Gay. After hearing Adkins describe her illness, Kevorkian refused to help the patient and suggested that she try experimental drug treatments. After six months had gone by Adkins informed Dr. Kevorkian that the drug treatment had been unsuccessful and Kevorkian finally agreed to help with her request (44-45). Adkins and her husband flew to Royal Oak, Mich., on June 3, 1990, for an interview with Kevorkian. On the basis of that one face-to-face encounter, the doctor concluded that Adkins' euthanasia request was rational. The following day, as her husband waited in a nearby motel, Adkins was hooked up intravenously to an inverted bottle of saline solution hanging from a metal frame in the back of Kevorkian's parked van. Acting on Kevorkian's instructions, Adkins pressed a button that shut off the flow of saline solution and opened the line of sodium pentothal, causing her to lose consciousness. After one minute, an automatic timer closed the pentothal line and released the contents of the third bottle. Adkins' heart stopped beating within six minutes. (Worsnop "Assisted Suicide" 157-158) One source reports that the second and third assisted suicides occurred on, October 21, 1991. One patient, Sherry Miller, was a multiple-sclerosis victim, and the second patient,
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