Physician Assisted Suicide

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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). By this definition it is easy to see how this topic may be controversial.…show more content…
31% stated that no matter what the circumstance was, physician assisted suicide was never acceptable. 27% stated that physician assisted suicide was always acceptable in situations like the ones presented above. 17% said that physician assisted suicide was acceptable if the patient repeatedly requests to die. 24% believed that physician assisted suicide was acceptable if the patient was old (for example 85 years of age). I thought this study was interesting because of the wide variety of views on what was considered “acceptable.” I think this shows why it is so hard for political leaders to come to an agreement on the terms of this issue (Bugay, et al.,…show more content…
As nurses we have the responsibility to give unbiased education on all of the options available for end of life care (Meier, et al., 1998). Before attending nursing school, I had never thought much about the idea of physician assisted suicide. It was brought up once in one of our Topics of Nursing classes. Our teacher asked us to raise our hands if we agreed with physician assisted suicide in a terminally ill patient. I was surprised by how many hands were raised. I didn’t raise my hand because I felt like I didn’t have enough information on the issue or had enough experience in the health care field to know which “side” I was on. We continued to discuss why this topic of physician assisted suicide was a hot topic. We watched a video about Brittany Maynard’s story of dying with dignity which was huge on social media. This video about Brittany Maynard’s story of physician assisted suicide opened my eyes to what was legally ok and going on in the world, and not too far away in Oregon (Bushak,
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