Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?

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Should Physician-Assisted Suicide be Legalized Pamela Rhodes PHI 103 Instructor: Todd Hughes May 7, 2012 Should Physician-Assisted Suicide be Legalized? Should we, as a society pass laws that sanction assisted suicide? This question has sparked intense moral controversy as far back as ancient Greece and is now a significant topic that concerns people all over the United States. Opponents to assisted suicide would say no one has the right to end a life except God. On the other hand, proponents would argue that many terminally ill people deal with agonizing and unrelenting pain on a daily basis and the compassionate thing to do would be to put an end to their loved one’s suffering. It is my contention that physician-assisted suicide goes against our morals and duties as human beings and should not be legalized in the United States. Assisted suicide refers to “helping a person to end his or her life by request an order to end suffering” (Humphry, 2006), however, there are many different types of Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide. It is considered to be a physician-assisted suicide when a doctor provides medication, means, or information to facilitate a patient’s own death. The terminally ill patient must have consistently asked to end their life and done so of his own free will. The physician, however, does not actually administer the medication. For example, he could provide a hypodermic needle at a patient’s bedside and explain what it is and how to use it. This is considered a physician- assisted suicide if the patient then decides to use the needle and inject himself, once the doctor has left the room. The explicit request and consent from a competent patient to have the delivery of medication or the removal of life sustaining equipment, to end their life is known as voluntary active euthanasia. If

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