Physician Assisted Suicide Cons

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In the United States alone there is much debate regarding the issue of physician assisted suicide (PAS). PAS has many interpretations, but one way it can be described is the assistance given by a physician to a competent patient by means of prescription drugs, equipment, or knowledge to do so. These patients are usually terminally ill with a poor prognosis and little time to live, or are in enormous amounts of pain. It can be done by three different methods: taking a patient off of life support, providing a patient with the means to kill themselves upon request, or physically by lethal injection or medications.1 Doctors have been prohibited from participating in patient suicides for years; however Dr. Jack Kevorkian infamously assisted in…show more content…
“They contended that hastening a patient's death is not legitimate medical practice, so prescribing controlled substances for that purpose violates the CSA.”10 Another concern with the legalization of physician assisted suicide is its’ potential for abuse. People may begin to request the assistance of doctors to commit suicide for impractical reasons, such as depression or other psychological illnesses and there is fear that the value of life will just go out the window.11 However some have argued that for practicality reasons vital organs from dying patients can be saved and given to patients that do have a chance to live that are on long waiting lists, along with all the resources, equipment, and hospital staff that would now be available for them as…show more content…
Today there are only four places where physician assisted suicide has been legalized: Oregon, Switzerland, Belgium and Netherlands.13 Their individual laws and specific criteria and standards vary, but are all in place for the same reason. In some countries suicide is not or has never been illegal, but the assistance from a second party is. In Norway, assisted suicide is considered “accessory to murder”14 and is a criminal offense in over 30 states.15 The Supreme Court questioned whether the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) allows the United States Attorney General to restrict physicians from prescribing regulated drugs in Gonzales v Oregon.16 President George W. Bush proclaimed disappointment regarding Gonzales v Oregon and the deterioration of a “culture of life.”17 Suicide has always been a controversial matter, but do patients have the human right to make this decision? The laws deeming physician assisted suicide illegal can be seen as unconstitutional however the “right to die” is extremely unlikely to be constitutionalized. Dr. Dan Brock, a PAS supporter said “that suicide or attempted suicide is no longer a criminal offense in virtually all states indicates an acceptance of individual self-determination in the taking of one’s own life analogous to that required for voluntary active euthanasia.”18 There are various people that oppose physician assisted suicide due to politics or religion, however they are not the
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