Many people think that there are too many problems with physician assisted suicide. Physician assisted suicide is a procedure that allows physicians to prescribe their patients a lethal medication that they can inject themselves with in order to die on their own terms. There are specific requirements that the patients must meet in order to receive this medication. Physician assisted suicide is only for patients that have life threatening illnesses and do not have much time left to live. It is legal in numerous places around the world including certain places in the United States. Physician assisted suicide has been an intensely debated problem for years but if used properly, could be an effective way to help those who are suffering at the end of their life.
Physician-assisted death is the practice in which a physician provides a mentally competent patient with the means to take his/her own life, usually in the form of prescribing death-dealing medications. It first became legal in the United States in Oregon in 1998. It is now legal in four other states: Washington, California, Montana, and Vermont. In order for one to exercise their right to die this way, the law states that the patient must be at least 18 years old, be mentally competent, be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months, and must wait at least fifteen days before filling the death-dealing prescriptions. This controversial practice has raised the question of whether or not it is ethical for a physician
The price to pay for assisted suicide costs a lot more than just money. Some of the elderly or sick people believe that they would become a financial burden to their friends and loved ones. In fact, in one of the states where assisted suicide is allowed, a poll was taken. The poll revealed that 66% of citizens would only consider assisted suicide because of being a financial burden on their loved ones. One person even says “If I had terminal cancer, I had a few weeks to live, I was in tremendous amount of pain - if they just effectively wanted to turn off the switch and legalize that by legalizing euthanasia, I'd want that” (Key). Many would say that those reason a lone are enough to make them support Assisted Suicide.
Death is a natural process that will be experienced by everyone at some point, desirably at the end of a long, well lived life. The reality is that no one knows when that time will come or how it will happen. Unfortunately, for the terminally ill, death is in the near future and it is a sobering reality. Therefore, when that time comes, people need to know that they will have options, and the assurance that death does not have to be an agonizing end. They can choose to endure the annihilating pain that comes with the disease and allow it to take its natural course or choose to put an end to it, surrounded by those who love them. For the terminally ill the decision of ending their lives with compassion should be a fundamental right, a personal
Currently in the United States only five out of the fifty states have legalized assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is the help from a physician for a patient to end their life because they have a terminal illness. Many people believe that euthanasia should be illegal across the board, however, people who have terminal illnesses should have a right to be in charge of how to end their life. Many people do not want their family to see them at their lowest, and they do not want to see their selves at their lowest either, therefore, giving a person a right to end their life peacefully, should be an individual’s choice.
When I was twelve years old, my grandfather passed away after a long, excruciating struggle with lung cancer. He endured months of insufferable agony, which continued until the mercy that came with his dying breath. Looking back on this experience, I am firm in my belief that nobody should have to endure the suffering that my grandfather did. This however, is just one instance in which physician-assisted suicide would have proven beneficial. According to the New York Times, Jerry Brown, who recently signed California’s own assisted suicide law said that if he were ill, it “would be a comfort to consider the options afforded by this bill” (Boffey 1).
The Issue with Physician Assisted Suicide Physician-assisted suicide is the act of a physician prescribing a patient medication that allows the patient to kill themselves. Normally it is only given to patients with terminal illness, but the act of assisted suicide is on the rise for other diseases like depression. It is only legal in 5 states in America. Physician-assisted suicide should be made illegal across all states because it is offensive to social groups, causes doctors’ jobs to become more challenging, and it opposes patient freedom.
Life is never guaranteed and whether it is through an illness or an accident, we as humans are eventually going to die. Physicians Assisted suicide is one of the most controversial issues. The issue of doctor-assisted suicide has been the subject of the heated dispute in recent years. While some oppose the idea that a physician should aid in ending a life, others believe that physicians should be permitted in helping a patient to end his or her unbearable suffering when faced with a terminal illness. Furthermore, Physician-assisted suicide should be legal; it should be the patient’s right to decide when and how he or she should die.
An argument from those who are against assisted suicide is that assisted suicide is unethical. Heather Newton, Article Editor for The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, argues that assisted suicide is similar to euthanizing. The difference between the two acts is that in assisted suicide the medication is administered by the patient, wherein euthanizing the doctor administers the medication. Also this process can be considered a violation of the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor takes. This oath states “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel”(Quffa, Voinea).
The topic of Physician-assisted suicide, or physician aid-in-dying, is a highly debated topic, especially when it comes down to whether this action be legal or not. The definition of Physician-assisted suicide can be defined as the act of intentionally killing yourself with the aid of a medical professional, such as a physician. The practice of Physician-assisted suicide still remains illegal in forty-five states excluding the states of Oregon, Vermont, Montana, California, and Washington. Although states have tried to make this practice legal, the practice of Physician-assisted suicide has become a crime in most. The practice of Physician-assisted suicide should not be illegal.
In the Newsweek article, “Physician-Assisted Suicide Is Always Wrong,” by Ryan Anderson, it is stated that the legalization of assisted suicide “would be a grave mistake.” Anderson provides a few examples of why assisted suicide is detrimental. One, he states it leads to an endangerment of the weak and disenfranchised in societies. His outlook is that the purported safeguards of eliminating risk has mainly been nonexistent, which in some countries like the Netherlands who has legalized physician assisted suicide (PSA), has lead to doctors administering lethal injections to patients without request. Two, Anderson, sees assisted suicide as a compromise in the practice of medicine.
Current Issues Surrounding Death A hot topic in today’s media and in discussion is the idea of physician assisted suicide and end of life care. There are several legal, ethical, social, and political issues surrounding this idea, which makes it a controversial topic. This paper will discuss some of these issues and explore the idea of physician assisted suicide and end of life care in more detail. Physician assisted suicide is defined as, “suicide by a patient facilitated by means or information (as a drug prescription or indication of the lethal dosage) provided by a physician who is aware of how the patient intends to use such means or information (Merriam-Webster, 2015).
"Physician-assisted suicide isn 't about physicians becoming killers. It 's about patients whose suffering we can 't relieve and about not turning away from them when they ask for help” says Dr. Peter Rogatz. Assisted suicide isn’t an option for most terminally ill patients and even the patients that to decide they want the prescription, up to 40% of them never even take the pills. All doctors for assisted suicide just want to help their patients from living and dying in pain. Others think that assisted suicide should be legal because it will save the United States and the Government money.
Some believe that this undermines the role of a physician as a healer. This argument is somewhat valid, but still should not make Physician Assisted Suicide illegal. The way I see it, a physician is always there to help it may be killing but the Physician is just prescribing the dose and the patient takes the pill on his/her own. Another argument is that a physician who helps a patient commit suicide, breaks the trust and bonds between a patient and his/her doctor. Again, we have a valid point.
Assisted suicide is a rather controversial issue in contemporary society. When a terminally ill patient formally requests to be euthanized by a board certified physician, an ethical dilemma arises. Can someone ethically end the life of another human being, even if the patient will die in less than six months? Unlike traditional suicide, euthanasia included multiple individuals including the patient, doctor, and witnesses, where each party involved has a set of legal responsibilities. In order to understand this quandary and eventually reach a conclusion, each party involved must have their responsibilities analyzed and the underlying guidelines of moral ethics must be investigated.