Brittany Maynard's Death Controversy

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We can always turn on our televisions and hear about a current controversy on all of our news channels. Near the end of 2014, we saw one story that was brought to attention to our whole country. Brittany Maynard created controversy on how sick patients should be able to choose their own death given their current situations. Moving to Oregon, Maynard would bring their Death With Dignity Act into her play, and be the face of their advocacy. Brittany Maynard was just 29 when she was first diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She thought at first she just suffered from headaches, but soon took a turn for the worse as her symptoms began to deteriorate. In April 2014, she had two major brain surgeries in hopes to stop the growth of the tumors.…show more content…
Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act came into play in 1994. The act was passed not only to give terminally ill patients the right to die how they choose, but it also protected the physicians from being prosecuted in their assisted death. Critics of the law came to fear that they would see a large flock of people move to Oregon, hoping to be covered by the law. In order to be covered by the Death With Dignity Act, you had to fall under certain criteria. The first criteria is that the patient must be older than 18 years of age, which is considered to be a legal adult. The next criteria is that you have to be a resident of the state that has that act under. There are several ways to establish your residency in that state, as determining residency does not request for a person to live so many years in the state to become one. When providing proof of residency, you proofs “can include a state issued ID such as a driver's license, documents showing the patient rents or owns property in the state, state voter registration, or a recent state tax return” (Death With Dignity). The third criteria that must be met is that you must be fully competent and be able to make decisions on their own. Most of the patients who request to die are speaking out of pain or depression. These people might just need a different medication or someone to help them cope through their illnes. If a physician would…show more content…
The Oregon law is sought based on patient autonomy, the right for the individuals to choose for themselves. When first enacted, doctors would be the only ones covered by the act, but lawmakers soon changed it to where pharmacists filling the prescription and the nurses that would usually administer the lethal drug would be covered by the law. According to Oregon’s 2013 Public Health Resources reports, “Since the law was passed in 1997, a total of 1,327 people have had DWDA prescriptions written and 859 patients have died from ingesting medications prescribed under the DWDA” (United States). Critics against the law state that the use of barbiturates, the lethal drug physicians are to prescribe in aiding in death, violates the American Medical Associations code of conduct for the physicians. Others seem to think this is a physician’s way of playing God because in most reports by the physician, the patient is usually not competent which is one of the criteria that is to be met by the
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