Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

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Physician Aid-In-Dying SOC120: Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility (ABK1121D) Date: June 20, 2011 Physician Aid-in-Dying Physician aid-in-dying will always be debated as long as there are conservatives on this earth. That statement is not made to instigate anger but as a reality factor. The taking of life is for God only. Therefore the issue of man assisting with the termination of life is controversial. One of the people who brought this issue to the forefront was Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the early 1990’s. Although I’m sure the practice was not new, it wasn’t well known that the general population that a doctor would consider assisting with the taking of life, which is the real problem behind this issue. What Dr. Kevorkian did was euthanasia which differs from aid-in-dying, because with euthanasia the physician actually administers the lethal drug which results in death. (Knickerbocker, 2011). Physician-assisted suicide - more preferably known as “physician aid-in-dying” - prohibits the physician from being a third party participant who administers the lethal drug. The physician is necessary because only he along with two other consulting physicians, can correctly diagnose the patient’s terminal illness. This is a standard requirement in both the states of Washington and Oregon.. Once this initial step is completed then the patient must make two oral requests to the attending physician for a prescription for medication to end his or her life. (Braddock, 2009). Mind you, it is most essential that the patient be mentally competent. The basis for the prescription is that only the terminally ill patient can decide when and where he or she will die. Therefore, there is a likelihood that it may not happen at all. This is another requirement under the state law, that the patient self-administer the lethal dosage. (Braddock, 2009). Following

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