Assisted Suicide or Mercy Killing - Paper

Topics: Euthanasia, Suicide, Death Pages: 2 (786 words) Published: October 29, 2011
Assisted suicide or mercy killing: Are either of these life ending situations within the laws that govern this country, or more importantly, our human morals? In my opinion, and seemingly in the opinion of the majority of the bodies that govern these United States, the answer to this question is no. According to, “34 states have statutes criminalizing assisted suicide; nine states criminalize assisted suicide through common law; and three states have no laws criminalizing assisted suicide on their books. In October 1996, the State Supreme Court of Ohio ruled that assisted suicide is not a crime. Although there is no clear law in the state of Virginia, civil sanctions will be imposed on those charged with assisted suicide in that state. The states of Oregon and Washington are the only states that permit physician assisted suicide.” Assisted suicide is the term typically used for a physician assisted death. In this case, the patient asks the physician for help in ending their life. They are suffering and do not want to continue a life of pain and suffering. One of the largest arguments against assisted suicide is the possibility of abuse by physicians. A fear that these deaths could one day be forced upon the elderly and ill due to lack of insurance or other factors. The Essay First and Last Do No Harm by Charles Krauthammer states, “Once given power heretofore reserved to God, some exceeded their narrow mandate and acted like God.” (54) The Hippocratic Oath, according Encyclopedia Britannica, states: “I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.” This statement gives credence to doctors of all disciplines to deny patients assistance to end their own life. According to Kevin O’Rourke, OP, “If physicians and nurses become associated with killing people, then trust which is the basis of the healing contract will be eroded and slowly disintegrate.” Mercy killing, on the other hand, is causing the death...
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