Euthanasia Essay: Physician Assisted Suicide

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Laura Satterfield Professor Gregory Hagan English 101 15 November 2009 Public and Medical Community The Right to Die Physician assisted suicide or euthanasia should be a right granted to all terminally ill patients. Although there are many debates opposing the viewpoint on assisted suicide, it should not be up to ethicists to make decisions between life and death, but to the terminally ill patient. It should be recognized that “patients have a right to make their own decisions to preserve free choice and human dignity: this right includes the right to choose assisted suicide” (Ersek 48) Also, having the access of physician assisted suicide allows the patient to maintain control over the situation and to end life in a merciful manner.…show more content…
We wish that we could take the pain and suffering away from them. Suffering means more than pain; there are other physical and psychological burdens that the patient must face. To further complicate the stress of a patient is the constant worry and concern. As well as the well-being of their family members, who are spending time taking care of them, and paying the bills for the artificial extension of life. This brings in the economic factors. Majority of patients in favor of physician assisted suicide include economic issues in their reasoning (economic motives 3). Some patients’ motive for their choice is that they wish to leave their wealth to their family than to spend any more of it on health care. We should not deny patient’s wishes of physician assisted suicide solely because he or she is taking economic considerations into account. Less fortunate patients may consider physician assisted suicide because they don’t want to leave health care bills for their family members to take care of later. If the patient has already told love ones that he wishes to die and discontinue burdening himself and his family members, assisted suicide should be…show more content…
In most states aiding in suicide is a crime. Caleb Heppner a cancer patient states, “ [h]aving the law available in Oregon and that might be an option available to me, gave me a huge sense of relief that if worse comes to worse there was always that other option. [a]nd knowing that, I essentially put those issues about the last few hours of my life” (Oregon 1). Several major court decisions have been made regarding this issue. In the case Compassion in Dying v. Washington, the ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals held that individuals have a right to choose how and when they die (physician 3). Many surveys of patient and members of the general public find that majority of citizens believe that physician assisted suicide is ethical in certain cases, definitely involving terminally ill patients (physician 4). Many look at the issue as a government issues but I think it’s more of a patient issue. Dr. R. Peter Rasmussen believes, “morality does enter into this whole arena but it’s the patient’s morality, not the federal government’s morality” (Oregon 3). If a terminally ill patient believes that this is what is best for them, then it
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