Essay on Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Suicide is one person’s personal decision; physician-assisted suicide is a patient who is not capable of carrying the task out themselves asking a physician for access to lethal medication. What people may fail to see however is that the physician is not the only healthcare personnel involved; it may include, but is not limited to, a physician, nurse, and pharmacist. This may conflict with the healthcare worker’s own morals and there are cases in which the patient suffers from depression, or the patient is not receiving proper palliative care. Allowing physician-assisted suicide causes the physician to become entangled in an ethical and moral discrepancy and has too many other issues surrounding it for it to be legal. Physician-assisted…show more content…
Physician-assisted suicide was first made legal in the state of Oregon. (Hendin) In cases of euthanasia, physicians often give lethal doses of a medication to terminate a patient’s life because they’re experiencing intolerable pain. Patients who wish to use the Death with Dignity law in Oregon must be eighteen or older, must be a resident of Oregon, and they must be able to make their own health care decisions. (Sharp 53) However, the law does not require the patient to be in unmanageable pain, they must just have a prognosis of less than six months to live. (Sharp 54) This law seems to be in place to kill patients more quickly to open up hospital space, instead of compassionately ending someone’s suffering.
Oregon’s physicians are required by law to recommend hospice and palliative care, but are often not qualified, therefore only thirteen percent of dying patients get to hear their alternatives. (Hendin) Oregon also does not require a psychiatric evaluation when a patient makes a request for suicide. (Hendin) Studies have shown that 13-77% of patients who request assisted suicide are suffering from depression; however, psychiatrists believe that depression is a normal response to a severe illness. (Boyd) Also, patients who are aware they are going to receive a psychological evaluation which may allow them to commit suicide may lie during the evaluation so that they seem fine.

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