The Issue Of Physician Assisted Suicide

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What is the single common denominator that unites all of humanity? That every person will die. Death is a macabre subject, but it is a universal one that entangles itself within our lives. Even while living, death is omnipresent, and it has remained unchanged throughout the ages. What have changed are the definitions of death and its timeline. The word euthanasia comes from the Greek for ‘good death’. While that definition is rooted in etymologic studies and not open for interpretation, the very idea of a ‘good death’ is quite the opposite. What is a good death? Who determines ‘good’? And the question that is under much debate and discussion: Should anything be done to make it so? That, in the form of physician-assisted suicide (PAS), is one of the pressing topics that faces healthcare today. It is imperative that healthcare professionals, particularly nurses who bridge the divide between physicians and patients, are aware of this issue and its components.
Right to Die
The right-to-die movement is at the heart of this discussion. Following World War II, many advances were made in healthcare. Technology saw the advent of ventilators and dialysis machines, pharmaceutics developed antibiotics and now-routine emergency drugs, and hospitals developed more specialized units (McCormick, 2011). All of these developments resulted in patients surviving previously terminal conditions. Is surviving better than dying? That became an issue as patients were maintained
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