Being a member of the hospital Ethics Committee, it is my responsibility to make policy recommendations on end-of-life issues. Due to my intellect and reputation as a clear thinker, my ideas on this matter carry a lot of weight with the other members of the committee. Within this paper I will make a strong and convincing case for my position and recommendations on this topic. This paper will address the following question: What, if anything, should be done to help people who are dying? *
First I must start off with the obvious question: Is the patient an adult of 18 years or older who is terminally ill and of clear and sound mind to authorize assisted death intervention? If the answer is yes, then we should follow the wishes of the patient. Ultimately, it is their body; their life and they should have the right to choose. That being said, I do believe that guidelines should be established and followed in order to assure that the welfare of the patient is the only priority. Such guidelines should be made that reflect the three states that currently have laws in place for assisted death, which are, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. The law should include but not limited to, a capable adult who has been diagnosed, by a physician, with a terminal illness that will kill the patient within six months may request in writing, from his or her physician, a prescription for a lethal dose of medication for the purpose of ending the patient's life. Exercise of the option under this law is voluntary and the patient must initiate the request. Any physician, pharmacist or healthcare provider who has moral objections may refuse to participate. The request must be confirmed by two witnesses, at least one of whom is not related to the patient, is not entitled to any portion of the patient's estate, is not the patient's physician, and is not employed by a health care facility caring for the patient. After the request is made, another physician must examine the patient's...
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