Death With Dignity Act: An Ethical Analysis

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American political leader Anna Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” There are some people that live their lives happily everyday while there are some that are living in bitterness. Life is a cycle that everyone experiences from childhood to adolescence to adulthood and finally ends with death. Some may believe that maybe if a human being is no longer content with life anymore, then he or she might as well no longer be alive. The issue of euthanasia has been one of the most discussed ethical situations among healthcare workers and patients. In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is described as “the act of practice …show more content…

The Death with Dignity Act, also known as the Right-to-Die Bill, allows terminally-ill adults grant their wishes to hasten their death in some states where it is legalized. These patients that are mentally capable of making their own decisions have the right to voluntarily request and receive a prescription medication to end their suffering sooner. Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California are the only states that practice the Death with Dignity Act. Oregon voters approved Death with Dignity Act in 1994 and went into effect in 1997. Washington implemented the same act in 2008 followed by Vermont in 2013 which is the first state to pass through legislative process. 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. These protocols are to be met to provide patient comfort and avoid disaster. The Death

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