Physician Suicide Essay

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Physician Assisted Suicide: Right to Life or Right to Death? Sarah Ku University of Kansas School of Nursing Sarah Kathleen Ku is from Overland Park, Kansas. While attending the KU School of Nursing she was the recipient of the Brisley Scholarship. She has also been named to the Dean’s honor roll for the University of Kansas for all eight semesters. She hopes to begin her career in an acute care medical surgical environment in the Kansas City area. Her career goals include completing graduate degrees in nursing with an eventual long range plan of becoming an undergraduate nursing educator. I would like to acknowledge David Martin, my legal/ethical class professor. If it were not for this individual, I would have never written this paper. This professor encouraged me to explore the legal and ethical implications associated with the nursing profession. I am very grateful that I was required to do this assignment, and I think that my patients will benefit from the knowledge that I have gained. The Journal of Undergraduate Nursing Writing. 4:1. July 2010. 24 Physician Assisted Suicide: Right to Life or Right to Death? Introduction In 1997 the Death with Dignity Act was implemented in the state of Oregon. This piece of legislation enables a competent adult who desires to end their life access to a lethal dose of medication. In order for a person to qualify for assisted suicide under this act, they must be 18 years or older, a resident of Oregon, able to verbalize and understand the consequences of their decision, have a prognosis of six months or less to live due to a terminal illness, and convince a physician of their desire to end their life (Volker, 2007). Although the Death with Dignity Act empowers individuals to control the timing of their death, physician assisted suicide still remains a controversial topic in today’s society that raises many ethical

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