Assissted Suicide

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Assisted Suicide
Tadeáš Lenner
Northwood University

Economics of Public Policies
Dr. Edwin Moore
Spring 2013

Abstract
The greatest human freedom is to live, and die, according to one's own desires and beliefs. The question whether an individual has the right to choose between these two has been debated for decades among physicians, politicians and philosophers. No right to suicide can be found in any social compact. The aforementioned question does not have a clear answer so this paper will provide arguments from both sides, describe the issues that need concern and provide specific details why this policy is inconsistent. Because opinions vary across cultures, this paper will be focused solely on describing the situation as it is presently in the United States of America.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia
It is important to differentiate these two terms since they stand for same principle. Assisted suicide is where a PAD (Physician aid-in-dying) helps an individual to bring about his or her death by providing medication or equipment while euthanasia means that patient has to give consent (based on requirements) to the physician and he or she then terminates the life of the patient. Policy analysis objective

As of right now, the situation in the policy arena regarding the issues of assisted suicide is leaning towards change. There are two main sides; one saying that an individual has the right to choose and influence his or her destiny, therefore assisted suicide should be legal in all fifty states. The other side claims that assisted suicide is a crime against humanity and is not ethical to end someone’s live even if asked for. In Christianity, being the major religion in the United States, any type of suicide is considered a grave sin, therefore it’s absolutely unacceptable. The satisfactory and most important outcomes of this policy are to ensure that an individual has the ability to choose between options when life comes to an end. The unsatisfactory outcome would be individual in excruciating pain with having only one option, which is to wait until death finally comes. Physical and material conditions

Rules-in-use
Currently, assisted suicide is legal and allowed in the states of Oregon and Washington under Death with Dignity Act, Oregon Revised Statutes 127.800-995 and Revised Code of Washington 70.245. The strength of the Oregon and Washington laws lies in their very strict and specific guidelines, which leave no room for questions or misinterpretation. Oregon voters approved of their Death with Dignity Act in 1994 and confirmed their support in 1997. Oregon's law went into effect in 1998. The voters of Washington passed their law in 2008 and it was implemented in 2009 after no credible legal challenges. In these states, this service is provided with following requirements: * Patient has to be diagnosed with terminal illness (no more than 6 months to live) * Patient must be determined to be free of a mental condition impairing judgment * Participation by physicians, pharmacists, and health care providers is voluntary * Patient's decision to end his or her life shall not "have an effect upon a life, health, or accident insurance or annuity policy." * Lethal dose of medication must be self-administered (patient has to die by “own hands”) * The patient must be informed of all other options including palliative and hospice care (Washington State, 2008)

Also patients have to be residents (but no minimum length of residency before participating in the Act is necessary). As the leading edge of public policy working to ensure the rights of patients on this important final journey, Death with Dignity is not only a legal issue, but a cultural and spiritual issue, too. Some faith traditions have embraced Death with Dignity as an ultimate act of compassion, and others reject it is as morally bankrupt practice. (Johnson, 2012)

Community attributes
The size of the community affected by this...
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