“In the 20 years that Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law has been on the books, 1,749 patients have been prescribed lethal medications, and only 64% of them (1,127) used them to die, according to state data. Last year, Oregon doctors prescribed 206 lethal medications, 133 of which were reported used by patients” (Portland Press Herald). This statistic shows that not all patients who are prescribed the drugs, use them to end their life. Gale states, “The three most frequently cites reasons for requesting suicide were: a decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, loss of autonomy and loss of dignity. Eva Thompson, a 57 year-old Camden, Maine resident with stage 4 colon cancer, who is in favor of physician assisted …show more content…
Public opinion polls showed increased support for physician assisted suicide. This was due in part to technological advances in medicine as well as a greater recognition of patient’s rights.” Twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard, utilized Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, took her own life in November 2014 following a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. “A Pew poll conducted after Ms. Maynard’s death, revealed that people viewed this as a heroic act. Also, revealed, the majority of Americans, most likely including physicians, now favor legalizing physician-assisted suicide for painful and incurable conditions: 68 percent in favor, 28 percent opposed. This poll also found that 56 percent of Americans believe that physician assisted suicide is a morally acceptable act regardless of its legality, and only 37 percent believe it is morally wrong. Additionally, 62 percent of adults agree that a person has a moral right to suicide” (Ralph A Capone). Other states including Oregon, that have passed death-with-dignity laws include Vermont, California, Colorado and Washington. There is a death with dignity bill that is slated to go before the Maine Legislature in support of physician assisted suicide. There is a lot of optimism surrounding this bill, as there’s been two years of experience from Oregon and Vermont, (the latest …show more content…
Moral questions associated with suicide go back to Western Civilization. “Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle believed suicide was a crime against the community and God. Judaism regarded suicide equivalent to murder, or worse, in some respects, as there can be no atonement by repentance for killing oneself. Islam prohibits suicide, yet glorifies those who die as martyrs for the faith. In the classical world of Greece and Rome, suicide was glorified as a noble death. As early as the second century, Christian teaching condemned suicide, stating it violates the commandment, “Thou shall not kill”, suicide cannot be repented of and lastly, it’s cowardly” (“Suicide.” Encyclopedia of Religion and the Law in America). The United Methodist Church states, “Every person has the right to die with dignity.” The United Church of Christ states, “It’s the right of individuals to not have their lives unnecessarily prolonged.” However, the Lutheran Church Missouri, Synod addresses the matter of physician assisted suicide and condemn it as an “affront to the Lord who gives life,” which also, “open the door for future abuse” ("Suicide." Encyclopedia of Religion and the Law in America). Churches and religious leaders will never come to a mutual understanding on this subject. However, some religions and churches agree that a person does have a right to die
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.
Running Header: Ethical Reasonings Ethical Reasonings for the Legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide The moral issue of whether or not Physician Assisted Suicide(PAS) should be allowed has been widely vocalized and debated throughout the world. Physician Assisted Suicide is an important issue because it concerns the fundamental morals of one 's life. There are a variety of opinions readily discussed about this issue. Most standpoints on this topic have to do with freedom.
Summary: Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed a bill which legalizes physician assisted suicide in the state of California. By doing so, California is following Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana in becoming the fifth state in the US to legalize such medicine (ProCon, n.p., n.d.). Drugs like this will only be offered to terminally ill patients, and will require the patient to reaffirm that they want the drug several times with waiting periods between each in order to be sure that this is something that he or she wants to do. It is also expected that many hospitals will refuse to offer this drug to patients because it could bring bad publicity and have a negative effect on patient relationships (Lovett & Perez-Pena, 2015). There are a lot of arguments against this bill, for example, people claim that terminally ill patients might be talked into accepting
In order for patients to use prescriptions from their physicians for self administration of lethal medications, patients must meet multiple requirements. Death with Dignity National Center requires patients to be an adult who are eighteen years of age or older, a resident of one of the three legalized states, capable to make and communicate health care decisions, and patients must be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will soon lead to death within six months (Death with Dignity National Center). After all these requirements have been met, patients will be eligible to request lethal prescriptions from a licensed physician. To receive a prescription, the prescribing physician and a consulting physician must agree to another multiple set of conditions. Both physicians must agree with each other to an appropriate diagnosis, determine whether patients are capable of health decisions, patients must also produce a written request to both physicians, patients must pass all psychological examination, prescribing physician must inform patients other alternatives, and last, but not least, patients’ next-of-kin could be notified about the prescription request.
First, Oregon was the front-runner in the world of physician-assisted suicide in the United States. In 1994, the state of Oregon passed the bill of a terminally ill individual’s right to die by lethal injection. Shortly after the passage of the bill, Oregon received their first challenge in the courts. In the case of Lee v. Oregon State, doctors and patients challenged Oregon, stating that the law violated the Constitution’s 1st and 14th amendments, as well as many other federal laws (Devlin, 1996). Due to this challenge in the courts, there was a temporary hold on the law.
Ethics of Physician Assisted Suicide Physician - Assisted suicide is defined as, “suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient 's intent.” ("Physician-Assisted Suicide "). As a Christian, my world view belief is that physician assistant suicide (PAS) is wrong and goes against God’s plan. The Christian world view is not shared by everyone. For example, some countries such as Switzerland and states such as Oregon, Montana, Washington and Vermont have implemented physical assisted suicides (PAS) laws.
Physician-assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in today’s society. Physician-assisted suicide is defined as an action performed by the physician at the request of the patient to end the patient’s life with certain medical procedures. The legalization of physician-assisted suicide should not be passed in the United States because it is not morally acceptable in the society, leads to misunderstanding of a physician’s duty and increases mental suffering of both patient’s family and doctor. Physician-assisted suicide should not be legalized since the action itself is not justified morally. It is never morally acceptable for the society to give up on its people’s lives.
The Act allows terminally ill patients to seek life ending drugs following specific rules and regulations from a licensed Oregon physician. Since then four other states have legalized physician assisted death. Washington also has Death with Dignity laws that became legal in 2008. The most recent states to pass laws regarding physician assisted death are Vermont who legalized Death with Dignity laws in 2013 and California legalized it in 2015. Montana doesn’t have a law in place for physician assisted death but in 2009, “Montana’s Supreme Court ruled nothing in the state law prohibited a physician from honoring a terminally ill, mentally competent patient’s request by prescribing medication to hasten the patient’s death”
The first of many reasons that physician assisted suicide should be legalized across the whole nation is the fact that it is an option that is covered by many safeguards that ensure that the patients who receive the deadly prescription are those who are, in fact, terminally ill. One such example of these safeguards comes from the Oregon Death With Dignity Act which states: “Requests for [Death With Dignity Act] drugs must be confirmed by two witnesses and approved by two doctors. The patient must not be mentally ill. And most important of all, both doctors must agree that the patient has no more that six months to live.” (Drum).
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. Countless people have been advocating for physician assisted suicide for years and the most famous advocate for assisted suicide was Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He was a pathologist but received the nickname Dr. Death after it was estimated that between 1990 and 1999 he assisted 130 terminally ill individuals in their assisted suicides (“Jack Kevorkian”). Dr. Kevorkian is considered a crusader for physician
Death is inevitable, it is something all living creatures must endure on this side of eternity. There is a multitude who will not be able to determine or choose when that time happens, life circumstances are usually out of the controlling grips of humanity. Despite that truth, as of 2015 there are five states in the U.S.A. where terminally ill persons eighteen or older with no more than six months to live are allowed to take their life with the assistance of a physician. California, Montana, Vermont, Washington, and Oregon, have all legalized the practice of physician assisted suicide (USA Today, PAS Dignity 2015). The act is generally committed by way of a prescribed lethal dose of medications intended to speed up the process of the patient 's
With most websites that have a definition for the right to die, there are a few that don’t have a definition. It is still a relatively new and there is a right to die moment that allows terminally ill patients to take their life. This particular organization called Hemock Society which mission is to also have laws for physicians-assisted suicide. As of April 24, 2017 there are only six states that allow the death with dignity. The first state to legalize physicians-assisted suicide is Oregon and the second is
The Right to Die has been taking effect in many states and is rapidly spreading around the world. Patients who have life threatening conditions usually choose to die quickly with the help of their physicians. Many people question this right because of its inhumane authority. Euthanasia or assisted suicide are done by physicians to end the lives of their patients only in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, New Mexico and soon California that have the Right to Die so that patients don’t have to live with depression, cancer and immobility would rather die quick in peace.