It is said that helping somebody who wants to die in a peaceful, painless way should be legal. Choosing how we die is a basic human freedom and if an individual's quality of life is deteriorating, due to a terminal disease such as cancer, they should have the right to stop their suffering via physician assisted suicide. It might be the case that the drugs for assisted suicide are far less expensive than the cost of their current medical care. This allows the government to save money as well as the lift the financial burden from the family of patients who are suffering from serious illness. Some people say that physician assisted suicide decreases the value of human life, but this isn't the case as it actually helps those who are terminal retain their dignity and choose their own death.
People have been questioning the ethics of physician assisted suicide since the late 18th century. According to medicinenet the definition of physician assisted suicide is “the voluntary termination of one 's own life by administrating a lethal substance with the direct assistance of a physician.” This would typically come into play if/when a critically ill patient wants to end their suffering. Confirming with the State-by-State Guide to Physician-Assisted Suicide, 5 states have
Did you know, about 57% of physicians today have received a request for physician assisted suicide due to suffering from a terminally ill patient. Suffering has always been a part of human existence, and these requests have been occurring since medicine has been around. Moreover, there are two principles that all organized medicine agree upon. The first one is physicians have a responsibility to relieve pain and suffering of dying patients in their care. The second one is physicians must respect patients’ competent decisions to decline life-sustaining treatment. Basically, these principles state the patients over the age of 18 that are mentally stable have the right to choose to end their life if they are suffering from pain. As of right
Currently, six states have enacted the death-with-dignity law allowing a terminally ill patient the right to choose how their life ends after obtaining permission from those in authority. In 44 states, state law prohibits assisted suicide and an active participant considered as committing a criminal offence. The U.S. Supreme Court protects a patient’s liberty to refuse medical treatment, but continues to side with the government’s interest in preserving life outweighing a person’s right to assisted-suicide. According to the U.S. Code, “Assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy killing have been criminal offenses throughout the United States and, under current law, it would be unlawful to provide services in support of such illegal activities.” (U.S. Code)
Terminally ill patients should be allowed to do whatever they wish, for they are going to die anyway. If they want to cut that string a little earlier than the scheduled and having to deal with that pain, then they should be allowed that medication that will end their life in a painless way. It is selfish to keep someone who is going through so much pain, that they want to die, alive and forcing them to ‘just deal with it’ as if it was nothing. As if they were not already going to die. We, the United States, ‘put down’ 2.4 million healthy cats and dogs every thirteen seconds, so if we can kill so many animals because they have no home or are overpopulated, like we are, then should we not be allowed to ‘put down’ our own life without much of a problem?
There are arguments for both sides of the issue. There is fear that the terminally ill would be taken advantage of. If it is closely regulated this should never be an issue. If the state of Florida passes the initiative for Physician-assisted suicide, tremendous pain and suffering could be avoided in many cases. A patient, who has long been denied a death with dignity, would finally have recourse of action to end his or her painful life. Nurses and doctors are certainly more qualified to recommend a painless procedure, than the patient is themselves. If agreed upon by the patient, vital organs could be harvested and used for others before a disease like cancer ravishes them through time. Not only would the patient’s suffering end, but the tortured families of such patients would finally be given the chance for closure and begin to move ahead with their own lives once again. (Messerli)
According to the Fourteenth Amendment of The Constitution of The United States, the State cannot deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Indeed, a terminally ill patient has the Constitutional right to decide whether right or not to end his or her life. “Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that all persons have a moral right to choose freely what they will do with their lives as long as they inflict no harm on others. This right of free choice includes the right to end one 's life when we choose” (A Right or a Wrong?). People have the right to die with dignity and in a humane way. If they feel like they have to do a certain thing, it is
In today's society, a very controversial issue is physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Many people feel that it is wrong for people, regardless of their health situation, to ask their doctor or attendant to end their life. Others feel it is their right to be able to choose how and when they die. When a doctor is asked to help a patient to their death, they have certain responsibilities that come along with it. Among these duties, they must prove valid information as to the terminal illness the patient is suffering. They also must educate the patient as to what their final options may be. When they make the decision of whether or not to help the patient into death, and should they
A tough issue on the rise in the United States is whether or not Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) should be legal. Physician Assisted Suicide allows a physician to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a patient to end their life. However, the patient has to take the drugs on their own. PAS would be only offered to those suffering from a terminal illness with less than six months to live. The way these patients go about treating and or living with a terminal illness is a very hard decision to make. This is the first time they have been given the choice of how they wish to die. PAS is an option that allows the sick to avoid the immense pain in their final months. The issue however, is whether this allows them to die with dignity or if it allows them to be taken advantage of.
Medical ethics and patient care go hand and hand. As health care providers, it is their duty to see that the patient 's needs are met. We are charged to insure comfort and proper recovery. The question here is whether there is a difference for patients who request voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide. These patients have the same rights to quality care of their bodies as we all do. Although, the United States constitution ensures us the right to life, it doesn 't mean that the right to die is taken away. Five states currently allow physician assisted suicide. In each state there has been controversial and contentious debate as to whether states should follow the lead of states that have allowed PAS.
There are many facts or opinions brought up against the physician-assisted suicide. One of the most impactful oppositions is that the law goes against the Hippocratic Oath that states first do no harm. In the oath, the quote “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” The counter to that statement is that it is more harmful to do nothing for a terminally ill patient and force them to endure endless pain and suffering when their choice is to end their life (Pros & Cons, 2016). Another opinion against physician-assisted suicide is that by having it as an option it puts pressure on ill patients to take it, so that they are not a physical or financial burden to their families. Some religions see that the physician-assisted suicide is morally unethical. The Catholic Church views the law as morally wrong, killing of a human being, even by an act of omission to eliminate suffering, violates divine law, and offends the dignity of the human person (Death with Dignity.org, 2016). The pope has quoted “Freedom to kill is not a true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being into slavery.” Another opposing viewpoint considers the chance for abuse or misuse by family for monetary gain. One of the hypothetical scenarios is that the family may influence or fool a dying patient into thinking that the suicide is the best for everyone so that they may collect on an inheritance or insurance policy
As United States citizens, we are guaranteed certain rights. One of these rights is the right to life. A human has a right to live, and a right to not be killed by another human being or themself. This right is established by our forefathers, who developed the Declaration of Independence around this principle. Physician assisted suicide clearly contradicts this right. James Thunder states, “The right at issue is the right of an individual to be treated and valued as a human being up to the moment of natural death, the right of the individual to not have her life denigrated to the point of her doctor, sworn to protect life, administering a lethal injection” (440). This shows that physician assisted suicide devalues life and the means to preserve it. “The Declaration of Independence recognizes that there is a right to life and that it is an inalienable one, meaning it is a right that a person can never give up. It is not a right depended on the largesse of the government or the people. It is not a right dependent on an individual’s mental competence or willingness to give it up. It is inalienable” (Thunder 441). Because the right to life is inalienable, it can not be taken away. Physician assisted suicide takes life, clearly denying the right to life. As physician assisted suicide contradicts the inalienable right to life, it is necessary that it be stopped
It’s one’s right to decide what happens to their body. Deciding one wants to end their life because they’re terminally ill and in pain should be permissible. It's no worse than a cancer patient refusing treatment, or a person being taken off life support. In fact, it might be better for people to be able to access physician assisted suicide as those suffering with chronic pain and no hope for a better future will be able to choose to die painlessly and with much more dignity. When the government refuses patient’s physician assisted suicide, people do at times decide to take matters into their own hands and attempt to end their own lives. This can go wrong and cause the patient to be in even more pain. This only includes those who are mobile enough to attempt suicide as well. The law against physician assisted suicide can also drive loved ones to end the patient’s suffering: so they no longer have to see them live in agony and misery. This causes many issues as the loved one may go to jail, or deal with psychological guilt for the rest of their lives. It seems better to allow people the ability to access physician assisted suicide as it’s no different than when one refuses treatment which is only prolonging
It is debated that patients who are terminally ill have options such as cognitive therapy, psychiatric help and should not result to suicide, however others believe that such therapies and help cannot fully withdraw the symptoms. Also, the Code of ethics is disputed whether it is violated because physicians are there to heal and aid their patient to the best of their ability, or that patients are mentally incapable of making that medical decision. Likewise, it is questionable if patients are protected by Constitutional rights, that stop them from making unreasonable decision on their health and helps physician’s preserve their patients’ life or patients are not legally supported to choose assisted suicide. The best solution be that assisted suicide be legal in all states and have a medical process that include necessary mental and physical therapies, follows ethical beliefs/codes and obeys constitutional
As patients come closer to the end of their lives, certain organs stop performing as well as they use to. People are unable to do simple tasks like putting on clothes, going to the restroom without assistance, eat on our own, and sometimes even breathe without the help of a machine. Needing to depend on someone for everything suddenly brings feelings of helplessness much like an infant feels. It is easy to see why some patients with terminal illnesses would seek any type of relief from this hardship, even if that relief is suicide. Euthanasia or assisted suicide is where a physician would give a patient an aid in dying. “Assisted suicide is a controversial medical and ethical issue based on the question of whether, in certain situations,