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Suicide In Pennsylvania

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In Pennsylvania it is not illegal to commit suicide do to the fact that the actor cannot be charged. It is however illegal to aid or solicit someone to commit suicide. It is a second degree felony if the person actually commits suicide and a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person merely attempts to commit suicide. If a person is coerced to commit suicide then that person is guilty of second degree murder. Based on these laws the state of Pennsylvania has made it clear that the act of suicide is murder and the assistance thereof is a punishable crime. Pennsylvania does not consider the withholding or withdrawal of treatment as murder (20 Pa.C.S 5426) Therefore from a legal standpoint the law has made it clear that suicide is…show more content…
It is the responsibility of those in healthcare to promote wellness, health and quality of live. Yet from early on the concept of promoting life has existed. The Hippocratic oaths states that, “I will not give poison to anybody when asked to do so.” This is a clear statement against euthanasia. The Hippocratic oath interestingly, also does not allow for the use of abortive agents, showing the concern for the sanctity of life. It does also go on to say that I will not put the knife to any patient, which could be interpreted as assisted suicide or pagan practice of cutting and blood letting. As a surgeon today I would take a more liberal stance on this later statement of this part of the oath which is often omitted from modern reading of the oath, as we now are able to cure disease by the use of the knife. Some would also argue the use of poison to treat, such as chemotherapeutic agents which are also acceptable. Pushing this to the extreme, some may say that much of this oath is no longer applicable and euthanasia also falls under a new area of enlightenment. However, most Doctors to believe that it is their job to relieve pain and suffering and cure when possible and this can be obtained without the use of euthanasia. Hospice care is readily available. Patient can establish living wills in order to make their decision known. Patients have a right to refuse treatment and this include, nutrition and hydration. Refusal of these will will result in datth in less than one week. Patient can be kep comfortable without promoting active death and
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