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).
Death with Dignity is an organization whose mission is to “promote Death with Dignity laws based on the model Oregon Death with Dignity Act, both to provide an option for dying individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in the end-of-life career.” (“Home-Death”) Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s practices had a lasting impact on assisted suicide laws, still affecting us today. (“Assisted Suicide”) However, with new modern techniques, suicide should be discouraged, causing suicide and unnatural death rates to drastically decrease because “killing for WHATEVER reason CANNOT be
Legalization of physician-assisted suicide has been in discussion throughout the years in the United States. While many state and federal lawmakers have this up in discussion, the state of Oregon is the only U.S state were physician-assisted suicide is legal. Not only is assisted suicide illegal, the use of euthanasia is also an illegal substance being prescribed to patients. There are four distinguished types of euthanasia, all with different meanings that are mentioned later on in the text. Over the last forty years and counting, Pakes had informed that the views of physician-assisted suicide have been changing, and it is still ongoing today.
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.
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. Even though assisted suicide was not discussed throughout the sixteen to eighteen hundreds, ethical philosophers investigated the roots of human morals in an attempt to create an overarching rule that would help determine if “death with dignity” is morally justified.
“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
In the defense of Physician Assisted Suicide, a wide publicly talked about topic, it should be a choice every terminally ill patient receives. Physician Assisted suicide is when a patient is terminally ill and has no chances of recovering. The patient themselves can make the decision, with the help from their physician, to get lethally injected and end their life reducing and ending the pain. In America each state has a little over 3,000 patients that are terminally ill contact an advocacy group known as the Compassion and Choices to try to reduce end-of- life suffering and perhaps hasten their death. Physician Assisted Suicide shouldn’t be looked at as suicide, but as ending the pain and suffering from an individual whose life is going to be taken away anyway.
The Right to Die 1) Introduction a) Thesis statement: Physician assisted suicide offers patients a choice of getting out of their pain and misery, presents a way to help those who are already dead mentally because of how much a disease has taken over them, proves to be a great option in many states its legal in, and puts the family at ease knowing their love one is out of pain. i) The use of physician assisted death is used in many different countries and some states. ii) Many people who chose this option are fighting a terminal illness.
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.
Brittany Maynard chose to the “Death with Dignity” option after learning that she only had six months to live after her brain cancer became more aggressive and turned to a grade 4 glioblastoma. She moved from California to Oregon in order to legally receive a prescription of a lethal dose of barbiturates. Oregonis one of five states in the U.S that has the passed the Death with Dignity Act. Brittany chose this option because she did not want to go through radiation or live the last of her days in pain while her family watched. Brittany stated, “Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I m likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind, and my family would have to watch that,” (page 565). Brittany
The Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), which allows terminally-ill patients to request physician-assisted suicide, was first introduced in Oregon in 1997. The basic premise of the law is that terminally ill patients, with no outside help, should be able to choose the right to end their life. Since then a few more states have the DWDA or an similar law in their state; an ongoing debate is going on to make the act legal across the nation. The Death with Dignity act allows the individual’s request to die to be acknowledged by the state. Though various of groups and people have spoken against this act, Oregon, with close to two decades of experience with the law, has shown that it can work well even when faced with backlash from the public because
“It’s ridiculous that somebody who’s been told that they’re going to die in six months has to drive 600 miles north to die peacefully.” These were the remarks of Dan Diaz, the husband of Brittany Maynard a woman who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had to drive to Oregon to be legally euthanized. Brittany’s tragic story was received with acclaim and disgust due to assisted suicide being such a controversial issue. With the debate of making assisted suicide nationally legal right on a cusp of fruition, writer-reporter for Time Josh Sanburn writes to inform readers on the two different aspects of the debate in his article “The Last Choice”. Mr. Sanburn writes an ample overview on the prospect of legalized assisted suicide in the
On November 1, 2014, just shy of her 30th birthday, a young woman named Brittany Maynard, utilized Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act to end her life. She had been diagnosed with an aggressive, terminal cancer just eleven months earlier. After having brain surgery in an attempt to stop the growth of the tumor, the tumor came back and doctors only gave her six months to live. With no cure her only option was radiation that could leave her scalp with first-degree burns and her hair singed off. Brittany and her family decided that radiation was not worth the physical and emotional pain it would cause. After considerable research she decided to relocate from California to Oregon one of five states where there is a Death with Dignity Act (Maynard).
THE EUTHANASIA CONTROVERSY Summary Euthanasia has constantly been a heated debate amongst commentators, such as the likes of legal academics, medical practitioners and legislators for many years. Hence, the task of this essay is to discuss the different faces minted on both sides of the coin – should physicians and/or loved ones have the right to participate in active euthanasia? In order to do so, the essay will need to explore the arguments for and against legalizing euthanasia, specifically active euthanasia and subsequently provide a stand on whether or not it should be an accepted practice.
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.