Death with Dignity

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Medical ethics Pages: 12 (4342 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Death with Dignity|
Choosing the End of Life|
Tamara Crosby|

Death with Dignity: Choosing the End of Life
Thesis: Is the fear of living an incomplete and possibly painful life a reason to bring your life to an end? Does this fear give us the authority to be masters of our own fate and end our own life before we and the ones we love suffer? 1. The beginnings of physician assisted suicide.

a. Dr Kevorkian
b. The first to use the method.
c. The Death with Dignity National Center
2. Oregon state and Washington state legalizing the method. d. The legal way the process is suppose to be administered. e. The drugs that are prescribed.
f. The law and physician requirements to fulfill the patients last request. 3. Montana and its different view point.
g. The court’s ruling on physician assisted suicide. 4. Will Massachusetts be the next state to legalize the death with dignity method? h. The process of getting the bill passed.
5. The families’ perspective on the decision?
i. Family members who objected.
j. Family members who supported?
k. How they live after the decision is made.
6. Insurance and their perspective.
l. Will insurance pay for the drugs required to perform the suicide? m. Will insurance pay for the doctors who assist with the procedure? n. What is the cost of physician assisted suicide?

7. Conclusion

Choosing to Die with Dignity: Should it be Legal?

Thesis: Is the fear of living an undignified and possibly painful life a reason to bring your life to an end? Does this fear give us the authority to be masters of our own fate and end our own life before we and the ones we love suffer? There is a lot of controversy with the subject of euthanasia. I, for one, was not even aware of the depth of the subject until I started researching for this paper. It has been most enlightening and sometimes heart retching process to write this paper. There are actually 4 defined approaches to the method of euthanasia. Derek Humphries defines them in his book The Final Exit as the following: (Humphrey) 1. Passive euthanasia is the “pulling the plug” process. 2. Self-deliverance is simply the act of taking your own life. 3. Assisted suicide is when a physician advices and supplies you with the drugs used to kill yourself. 4. Active euthanasia is the physician administering the drugs that cause death. With those definitions in mind we can look at the history of euthanasia. Hippocrates, also known as the Father of Medicine, is believed to have written the Hippocratic Oath around 400 BC. The oath, which stated, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked nor will I advise such a plan,” was not followed faithfully back then. Infanticide, active euthanasia and suicide were tolerated. Ancient Greeks stressed the voluntary end of life as long as it was done for the right reasons. After the coming of Christ, euthanasia and suicide became against God, therefore became almost extinct. Suicide was made illegal and if someone took their own life all their assets would go to the government. After the revolutionary war, suicide was decriminalized but any form of euthanasia was still not allowed. In the 1870’s Samuel Williams was the first individual who spoke out to allow pain killers such as morphine be used not only to ease the pain of terminal illnesses but also to speed the death. He was not a physician but his proposal was given attention in medical journals and scientific meetings. It did not change anything but now it is out in the open that maybe there is another option for death. Ohio was the first state on record that proposed a bill to legalize euthanasia. The bill wanted to legalize euthanasia of the terminally ill as well as the “hideously deformed or idiotic children”. (Manning) It was defeated. Dr. Harry Haiselden made...
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