Physician-assisted suicide is the voluntary termination of a person’s life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician. Physician-assisted suicide is the practice of providing a patient with a prescription for medication for the patient to use with the primary intention of ending his or her own life. For decades it has been an on going debate whether or not this practice is right legally, morally, and religiously. Does a person have the right to end his or her own life? This will be the topic addressed in this paper.
Assisted suicide caught my eye because when I saw the topic my main thought was a relative or a friend would help bring your life to death. Basically that a friend would help you kill yourself. However never did it occur to me that the help from a “friend” would be a physician prescribing you with lethal medication to speed up the process of one’s death. I was concerned with this area of bioethics because it brought my attention that it is essentially messing around with the idea of dying naturally. Instead of God bringing you to your death, one is giving ones life away, but asking for it in medical terms.
Since its passage in 1997, 341 individuals have chosen to end their lives under the state of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act as oppose to painfully living out their final days or months. This is according to the state department’s annual report regarding the Death with Dignity Act. [referred to as DWDA herein] The DWDA allows terminally ill adult residents to obtain and use prescription from their physicians for self-administered, lethal doses of medications. The Oregon Department of Human Services is required by the “Act” to collect information on compliance and to issue an annual report. Oregon’s DWDA is an example of assisted suicide; not to be confused with euthanasia.
The practice of PAS, or euthanasia, is illegal in most countries of the world. Euthanasia can be described as the painless killing of a terminally ill patient. Euthanasia can be split up into two distinct subsets: passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. The division between the two subsets is very clear; active euthanasia is killing, while passive euthanasia is letting them die (Munson, 2012). There is a fifteen-year-old girl named Lexie, living in Montana.
Debate Paper HAS 3104 April 15, 2012 According to "MedicineNet" (1996-2012), Assisted Suicide is “the deliberate hastening of death by a terminally ill patient with assistance from a doctor, family member, or another individual” (Definition of Assisted suicide). Many of us when we think about assisted suicide go directly to the one person who was most talked about in 1990’s Dr. Jack Kevorkian, it is said that this specific doctor made death his specialty. He became widely known for his “death machine” a device he invented that allowed a user to self-inject an anesthetic and then a lethal dose of potassium chloride. (He called the machine a thanatron, after Thanatos, the figure of death in Greek mythology.) ("Who 2 Biographies", 2011).
What do we mean when we say life? Do we mean the continued functioning of the body, or of the brain? Or do we mean the continued experience of the human being? Many doctors are now performing what is known as physician-assisted suicide, which is when a doctor provides the appropriate drugs for the patient to end their own life. Euthanasia is the act of the doctor killing the patient.
Assess this argument: ‘Killing is wrong if and only if it deprives a person of a valuable future life; some terminally ill people do not have a valuable future life; so it is not wrong to kill them’. Voluntary euthanasia is the ending of human life and intentionally relieving pain that a patient is suffering due to a terminal illness such as cancer. By definition, diseases such as cancer, cannot be cured or sufficiently treated and are expected to result in the death of the patient within the near future. As they no longer see the remaining months left of their life valuable, ending their life now seems a rational request. Killing is a form of active euthanasia whereby a person is deliberately causing death of a patient.
Physician assisted suicide should not be legalized for the simple fact many would give up and take the easy way out. There is currently a pervasive assumption that if assisted suicide and/or voluntary euthanasia (AS/VE) were to legalized, then doctors would take responsibility for making the decision that these interventions were indicated, for prescribing the medication, and (in euthanasia) for administering it .Richard Huxable remarks “that homicide law encompasses various crimes, so prosecutors can choose charges to suit the circumstances. Yet one thing is clear: mercy killing is still killing, equally, murder is murder” Physician assisted suicide is nothing more than cold blooded
Assisted Suicide PHI 200 Steven Carter February 27, 2012 Assisted Suicide Dealing with a painful and a long terminal illness is hard on everyone involved especially the person whom this is happening to. Susan Wolf’s article, “Confronting Physician-Assisted suicide and Euthanasia: My Father’s Death”, was very emotional and expressed the changes a dying person makes as the pain and all the treatments become too much to handle, especially when it is determined nothing else can be done. If this had been one of my parents, I would have dealt with the situation the same way that Susan Wolf did. I had an aunt that suffered with colon cancer and I agree that the most important thing to do is to keep the person comfortable and do only