Arguments To Legalize Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician Assisted Suicide PHI 103 Michael Pankrast Jennifer Eidem February 20, 2013 Allowing laws to pass that sanction assisted suicide has become a strong moral controversy that dates back to the ancient Greeks, and has now become a significant topic which is a concern to many people throughout the United States. Two sides are present within this action; opponents to assisted suicide would argue that no one has the right to take life except God. However, proponents to assisted suicide argue that many patients, who are terminally ill, suffer so severely, or patients who suffer with suicidal tendencies can use this possible legalization to end their lives, should be given the option to opt out of the…show more content…
Suicide is not a contention to those who have access to medical options that offer relief and comfort to their day to day suffering. But, what of those who do not have these options? This is the opening for physician’s to lead patients to suicides if they have no other alternative. In New York, the court’s are debating over the legalization of assisted suicide as it applies to physicians who “facilitate the exercise of the decision of competent, terminally ill adults to hasten inevitable death by prescribing suitable medications for the patient to self-administer for that purpose” ( Supreme Court, 1997). The court examined six interests asserted by the state to support it prohibition of assisted suicide. They are as follows; the preservation of life; the prevention of suicide; preventing the influence of third parties; the interests of third parties; protecting the integrity of the medical profession; and concern about adverse consequences ( or the “slippery slope”). However, the court found none of these interests as sufficient to override a competent, terminally ill individual’s liberty interest in committing suicide with a physician’s aid. The court found that most of these interests, apply equally to the refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment, and saw this as legally and ethically indistinguishable from the self-administration of drugs to “hasten inevitable death” (University of Buffalo, 1997). The courts dismissed the idea of risks associated with its decision to legalize physician-assisted suicide, claiming that risks exist and any risks can be eliminated through state law or regulation. But, how does the state prevent risks in this area when so many components happen so quickly? The answer is it cannot. The potential risks are great and as follows; undiagnosed or untreated
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