Euthanasia/ Assisted Suicide Debate

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HCA 322: Health Care Ethics & Medical Law

Euthanasia/ Assisted Suicide Debate

Professor John Istvan

September 6, 2010

Assisted suicide has become a controversial conversation in the United States.   Many individuals do not know there is a difference between assisted suicide and euthanasia. The difference is that assisted suicide is when a person helps someone to end their life.  Euthanasia is when a person commits the ending of someone’s life. Some people believe that this has become a moral issue. Some believe it to be medical issue; while others believe it to be religious issue and believe it to be murder to help someone end their own life. Personally, I am torn between the two because I believe that killing is immoral but in some cases, assisted suicide may be an alternative to eternal suffering. Physician Assisted Suicide is when a physician supplies information and/or means of committing suicide. This can be a prescription for a lethal dose of sleeping pills or a supply of carbon monoxide gas. These are just some examples of what a physician might give to a patient requesting to be assisted in committing suicide. " Active Euthanasia involves causing the death of a person through direct action, in response to a request from that person. Involuntary Euthanasia is used to describe the killing of a person who has not explicitly requested aid in dying. This is most often done to patients who are in a persistent vegetative state and will probably never recover consciousness.       The pro side of this debate feels like assisted suicide is perfectly okay and is and should always be a choice for any patient with an eternal illness. Medicine is a choice that is available to those in need but the acceptance or refusal of medicine is at the 100% discretion of the patient.  In a study found on euthanasiaprocon.org, 2/3 of Americans approve of assisted suicide. When one has less than six months to live, has requested to have assisted suicide three or more...
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