The process of assisted suicide, or physician-assisted death, is a hotly debated topic that still remains at the forefront of many national discussions today. Assisted suicide can be described as the suicide of patient by a physician-prescribed dose of legal drugs. The reason that this topic is so widely debated is that it infringes on several moral and religious values that many people in the United States have. But, regardless of the way that people feel, a person’s right to live is guaranteed to them in the United States Constitution, and this should extend to the right to end their own life as well. The reasons that assisted suicide should be legalized in all states is because it can ease not only the suffering of the individual, but the financial burden on the family that is supporting him/her. Regardless of opposing claims, assisted suicide should be an option for all terminally ill patients.
Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) has grown into quite a contentious topic over the years. According to Breitbart and Rosenfeld (1), physician-assisted suicide can be defined as “a physician providing medications or advice to enable the patient to end his or her own life.” One may find many articles that are written by physicians, pharmacists, patients, and family of patients who receive PAS; from there, it is possible to gain a better understanding of what PAS is and how it has become a rising issue in the United States. For readers who have not heard about PAS and what it entails, it is important to understand that this is a debatable topic that should be approached lightly and non-aggressively in the United States when factors such as offering terminally ill patients the right to end their suffering, the likelihood of overall healthcare cost to decrease, and the comparison of palliative care to physician-assisted suicide are examined.
In the medical field there are massive amounts of treatments for various diseases. Some treatments are going to help the patient feel more comfortable; however, some are going to counteract the problem, and others are going to help kill the patient. Physician assisted suicide is defined by medterms.com as “the voluntary termination of one 's own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician.” Any person wishing to undergo assisted suicide in Oregon must be at least 18 years of age and have a terminal illness. This illness must be within its final stages and leave the patient with less than six months to live.
Since 1994, Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) has been legal in the state of Oregon. The law allows patients diagnosed as having less than six months to live to decide when they will die. Sadly, death is a fact of life. Losing a loved one to debilitating disease or terminal illness is an experience to which an increasing number of Americans can relate. Every day new cases of cancer, ALS, and other painful, potentially fatal diseases are diagnosed in the US. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 22,000 new cancer cases will be reported in 2015 in Oregon alone, with roughly 8,000 subsequently dying. Faced with such overwhelming diagnoses, many patients choose to fight; other patients opt to spend their remaining time with their families,
Choosing to die with the assistance of a physician is a much debated controversial issue in the states. Assisted suicide is where a patient with a terminal disease choose to take their life to relieve their suffering, sometimes with the aid of a physician, and is legal in only five states. Assisted suicide is “legal in Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont and Bernalillo County,New Mexico(Death with).” This option should be available to patients in all states, because terminally ill patients should have the choice to end their suffering if their pain becomes unbearable. Terminal patients should be able to die on their own terms.
Since the turn of the 20th century, modern medicine has made significant advancements in treating the progression of disease. Diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and several cancers are easily managed in today’s medical community. Yet, just a century ago, those diseases would ensure a swift and unfortunate demise. Since the mid 1960s, the emergence of technological advancements and treatment modalities has increased the U.S. population’s life expectancy. Presently, life can be extended for years due to the development and use of ventilators, gastro-intestinal tubes, and hemodialysis in terminally ill patients. With of the spark medical innovation, an unanticipated dilemma has developed within the holds of modern medicine and the U.S.
People who die of a prolonged illness or had a predictable steady decline due to a condition like heart disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease account for ninety percent of deaths each year (Girsh 45). Most of the people who died suffered greatly because of their disease. However, if euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide was legal, the suffering could have been severely lessened. People who oppose both options have many reasons why euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide should not be legal. The Hippocratic Oath, the fear they could be abused by the poor, Nazi-styled teachings might return, or people may feel coerced, and the right to die is not an actual right are a few examples of what the people who oppose euthanasia or physician-assisted
Opponents of this practice feel that patients may be too ill or worried that they will not be able to think through to exercise a real inform consent. The legality of physician-assisted suicide may interfere with good physician-patient relationship. Patients may feel that if their physician is willing to participate in the act, then, society and the doctor would prefer that death occur. This misunderstanding may further imply that the terminally ill people are expected to end their lives. Besides, the legalization of physician-assisted suicide increases the likelihood that death will become acceptable for other people such as the mentally disable, the physically challenged, and the elderly (Weiss & Lonnquist,
Radical assumptions have been made on whether or not physician-assisted death should be legalized in the United States because of its citizens’ uncertainty about this delicate subject. Physician-assisted suicide is the method by which an individual is provided with the drugs or equipment needed to commit suicide. The terms “aid in dying” or “death with dignity” are preferred over “suicide” due to their distinction from "suicide," where assisted or not, it remains illegal while “aid in dying” is permitted. This allows for the patient to have control over their life and have the right to be able to choose whether to live a life filled with tedious pain and/or suffering, or end their misery and be able to rest in peace.
In 1994, Oregon became the first state to pass a bill legalizing physician aid-in-dying (Richardson, 2011). This law would allow a terminally ill patient with 6 months or less to live to end their life by their own terms (“It’s Not Assisted Suicide”, 2011). This bill leads to the question “Why would a form of purposeful death be legalized?” The bill, itself was passed for many reasons including the fact that the patients want to have control over their life and ultimately their death (“It’s Not Assisted Suicide”, 2011). They also do not want to live in fear of what will eventually happen to them. “Death with Dignity” was passed is because many terminally-ill patients do not want to live in excruciating pain and in fear of what will happen to them, living a prolonged life or taking control over one’s death is a personal choice belonging only to the individual making it.
Physician-assisted suicide is, “suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent,” as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Though today it more commonly known as euthanasia.
Imagine living with a terminal illness that causes immense pain and suffering. It’s likely that many of us have not given it much thought. It’s much easier to believe that it won’t happen to us. The reality, however, is that people are diagnosed with these terrible illnesses every day. So, what options do patients have? For many years’, members of the medical community have discussed the practice of physician assisted suicide. This would allow terminally ill patients, many of whom have cancer, to make the difficult decision to end their lives peacefully. Doctors are able to simply write their patient a prescription, designed to end a person’s life in a non-painful way. Doctors and medical personnel have struggled with this topic, exploring the various consequences and benefits that come with making assisted suicide legal. Currently, physician assisted suicide has been made legal across a handful of states in the U.S; however, many people continue to question the ethicality of this practice. There are many different arguments to explore for and against physician assisted suicide. Some believe that physician assisted suicide will lead to involuntary euthanasia, while others say patients should have the choice to live or die. While each individual conviction may seem vastly different, they do share something in common: Their concern for the well-being of others.
There are limited choices the terminally ill have, and physician assisted suicide is one of them. Physician-assisted suicide gives these individuals that are suffering some control. In today’s society physician-assisted suicide is a very controversial subject of social interest; this should be a socially acceptable way for the terminally ill to choose to die.
Michele M. Mathes presents the topic of physician-assisted suicide in health care and expands on the views of professional health organizations and the opposing views of others. Health organizations such as the American Nurses Association have a specific code for nurses which goes against assisting in the suicide of a patient while other qualified individuals believe assisted suicide should be practiced but with a few modifications to the process currently in place. Though there are opposing views, a single nurse has the ability to decide whether or not they are willing to participate in assisted suicide if they find themselves in that situation. The author of this source is qualified both in her degree and in advocacy, and the article was
Physician assisted suicide, or the so-called right-to-die, is a highly controversial issue that has appeared before many state and federal legislators but, has failed to pass in many states due to the huge opposition from groups such as the Catholic Church and disabled-rights organizations. However, physician assisted suicide is when a life ending medication is prescribed by a doctor for the patient, most commonly with a terminal illness, to take on their own. This medication merely accelerates the rate at which the person dies; therefore, it can not be considered suicide because they are only accelerating the rate at which the patient dies (Drum 29-31). In order for a patient to qualify