Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has been one of the most debated subjects in the past years. There are resilient advocates on both sides of the debate for and against physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Advocates of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide believe it is a person’s right to die when faced with terminal illness rather than suffer through to an unpleasant demise. Whereas, opponents contend that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is not only equivalent of murder, but it is ethically and morally incorrect.
This act would mirror the legislation regarding death with dignity in Oregon, and the requirements set by the legislation. The CARE Act would allow for terminally ill patients who meet certain criteria to request medication that will end his/her life in a dignified and humane manner that is completely up to the discretion of the patient. The requirements would be that the patient has to be as resident of the state of Pennsylvania, the request must come from the patient themselves on a form that would be standardized by the statute, the request must be witnessed by two individuals, one of the individuals being someone who is not related to the patient making the request and has absolutely no financial stake in the process. The patient making the request must be at least 18 years of age, and must be deemed competent by all health officials providing treatment. The next requirement would be that witnesses must agree that the patient is of sound mind at the point of signing, and the patient’s physician must attest to the fact that the patients illness is terminal with less than six months projected to live, there is no hope of recovery, and all options have been exhausted in terms of palliative or comfort care. A second physician must then verify the request, and a patient
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
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. A year later, the judge in the Lee v. Oregon State dismissed the case. The dismissing of the case allowed physician-assisted to continue in Oregon (Devlin, 1996). Years
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,
The right to privacy is one of these enumerated rights given by the Ninth Amendment and this protects assisted suicide because a terminally ill individual should have the privacy to make a decision on if they do think it is time for them to die and this decision should be made by no one other than the terminally ill patient themselves.
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
iii) Euthanasia contains a much smaller chance for mistakes and may be necessary in cases where a patient is too sick for self-administration.
At age twenty-nine, Brittany had been diagnosed with a stage four malignant brain tumor which then classified her as a terminally ill patient. Suffering from daily symptoms everyday became worse. Some of these symptoms would include seizures, head and neck pain, and stroke-like symptoms. Brittany soon became an advocate for death-with-dignity laws and spent her days advocating, especially those days that were her final ones. This is the reason why Physician-assisted suicide is an option. It is an option for those who peacefully can choose their way of dying especially if symptoms and pains are those that cannot be treated or soothed. Brittany brought many supporters to attention especially when her story became popular. However, there were efforts to try and change her decision and persuade her into choosing other
Their argument is that the medical practice of physician-assisted death is unethical because it violates the bioethical principle of nonmaleficence, which refers to the obligation of the physician to not cause needless harm. Physician-assisted death is not causing needless harm because the patient themselves is requesting the death-dealing medication and taking them, or not taking them, when, and if, they feel ready to die. It would be needless harm if the physician in question actively euthanatized the patient by administering the death-dealing medications without the patient’s consent. However, from a legal standpoint, physician-assisted death does not include active euthanasia, which is illegal in all fifty states; it simply requires the physician to provide the mentally competent patient with the information they asked for regarding the process and a prescription for the death dealing medication. The physician is not causing needless harm to a terminally ill patient who wishes to die mercifully on their own time instead of six months down the line in possible pain and suffering. The physician is rendering the aid the patient requests and respecting the patient’s autonomous decision to exercise their right to
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. In the United States there are six states that have their own modifications on allowing Physician Assisted Suicide. Oregon became the first state to legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill, mentally competent adults in 1994, followed by Washington and Vermont. California was then the fifth state to sign the “Right to Die” bill legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide. Many
The Death with Dignity Act has two arguments: those who believe we have the right to choose how and when we die, and those who believe we do not possess that right; that we should not interfere with the natural order of life. Every year, people across America are diagnosed with a terminal illness. For some people there is time: time to hope for a cure, time to fight the disease, time to pray for a miracle. For others however, there is very little or no time. For these patients, their death is rapidly approaching and for the vast majority of them, it will be a slow and agonizing experience. However, there is hope of a peaceful death for these patients that exists in a controversial law being considered by many states throughout the country. It is known as the Death with Dignity Act. This law gives terminally ill patients the option of ending their own life in a painless manner at a time and place of their choosing by
Jack Kevorkian’s case opened the eyes of the people and his actions had lasting effects on the Nation. According to the existing Hippocratic Oath, “an oath or promise all physicians must swear to uphold regarding the ethical practices of the medical profession.” (“Assisted Suicide”) This oath was a guide in many states decisions regarding assisted suicide cases. In 1997, the Supreme Court banned assisted suicide laws in New York and Washington. (“Point: Assisted”) Between 1997 and 2002, the state of Oregon was on board for the Right to Die movement and legalized assisted suicide. Upon Oregon’s legalization many other states, such as Arizona, Hawaii and Vermont, attempted to pass similar laws, but were denied. (“Point: Assisted”) Oregon, Washington, and Vermont are the only three states that allow the “mentally incompetent and terminally ill” to die upon request. (“Death with Dignity”) The Netherlands is the only other country that allows physicians to assist in patient suicide. (“Assisted
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
Brittany Maynard has been fed up with the government making medical decisions for her and patients in the same situation as her. This is what was on her mind “How dare the government make decisions for terminally ill people like me. Unfortunately, California law prevented me from getting the end of life option I deserved. No one should have to leave their home and community for a gentle death.” She has set things right for terminally ill patients in California. After her death, California lawmakers plan to pursue the right to die legislation. Before she died, she said how hard it is to end a life of pain. This impacted lawmakers and citizens to start fighting for this right.