How To Legalize Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician Assisted Suicide Why is it only ethical to die “naturally”, after a long illness filled with highly “un-natural” life extending medical procedures? Over the last twenty years, physician assisted suicides have become a sensitive issue in governmental offices as whether to legalize such an option. Even though many religions prohibit suicide and the intentional killing of others, and some believe it violates a portion of a doctors’ Hippocratic Oath, Physician Assisted Suicide should be a legal option for those with terminal diseases or conditions because reasonable laws can be constructed which prevent abuse and still protect the value of human life. Physician assisted suicide is the voluntary termination of one's own life by administration…show more content…
The routine practice of physician-assisted suicide raises serious ethical and other concerns (Snyder, 2004). According to ACP-ASIM, legalization of physician assisted suicide would undermine the patient–physician relationship and the trust necessary to sustain it. It would alter the medical profession's role in society and endanger the value our society places on life; especially on the lives of disabled, incompetent, and vulnerable individuals. The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history. Its principles are held sacred by doctors, “Treat the sick to the best of one's ability, preserve patient privacy, and teach the secrets of medicine to the next generation” (Hippocratic Oath, n.d.). A section of the oath is a frequent reminder in the medical field to keep physician assisted suicide illegal, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect” (Weir, 1997). This section was created in the 4th or 5th century by the Greeks, when poisoning patients to assist them in dying was…show more content…
First, and most important of these, the patient or persons requesting the physician assisted suicide must have a condition that is incurable and associated with severe, unrelenting suffering and understand the prognosis. Second, the physician must be sure the request is not made because of inadequate pain control. Third, the patient must clearly and repeatedly request to die. Fourth the physician must be sure the patient’s judgment is not distorted. Fifth, the physician assisted suicide should only be carried out in a meaningful doctor patient relationship. A physician should not be forced to participate in any act they deem unethical. Sixth, consultation with another experienced physician is required to ensure it is a sincere request. The patient and immediate family should attend counseling sessions to emotionally prepare for “treatment”. And lastly, all the steps should be clearly documented using an electronic video source, and through the patient’s paper file. This is to ensure all steps were preformed appropriately and they physician assisting cannot be held liable to later claims by non-supporters. Although many religions and medical professionals oppose it, physician assisted suicide should be a legal option for those with terminal disease or conditions when reasonable laws are constructed which prevent
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