Physician Assisted Suicide

Topics: Suicide, Death, Euthanasia Pages: 9 (3170 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Diseases have remained an issue in human life. It has continuously claimed several lives across the board. Some patients have waited in pain for their last breath. The suffering which they undergo raises eyebrows. For instance, some patients have been pressed to the walls by their ailments. This has compelled them seek for suicide assistance in form of prescriptions for lethal drugs to help them terminate their lives. Such patients have undergone extreme pain that they are left with no options rather to beg to die. This is an illusion to some critics who preach about the sanctity of life. This paper intends to explore on legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide for terminally ill patients with certain guidelines. Introduction

According to Birnbacher (2008), the question of legalizing physician assisted suicide still generates great debate. These two scholars have added their voice to the debate by stressing that physician assisted suicide should be permissible medical caregivers. This should only be possible under certain and considerable conditions. Manning (1998) also argued that some diseases are quite traumatizing. The patients tend to face extreme suffering that even doctors can seldom extend their olive branch. For instance, when an individual is suffering from incurable syndromes that press them to the extreme throughout their life, then euthanasia should be allowed (Snyder, 2002). This showed that physician assisted suicide could relieve such patients from the suffering. Based on the debate on physical assisted suicide, the proponents of the debate have appealed for legalizing physical assisted suicide. Their arguments have basically been founded on principle of autonomy (Birnbacher, 2008). The supporters have maintained that terminally ill patients should be provided an expansive room to either extricate themselves or control the end point of their lives (Humphry, 2005). This should be guided by the level of pain they undergo. However, this has not taken easy with religious principled orchestras (Oregon, 1994). They have maintained that such an act is immoral and very sacrilegious that should seldom slip into the society. This divided stance has drawn various attentions from different stakeholders. Therefore, physician assisted suicide can be defined as an act of a prescribing a drug to a patient by a physician (Kopelman, 2001). The drug prescription should entail the type of drug a patient can take on his/her own without the assistance of any individual or the drugs which the patient can use with assistance from another party (Drickamer et al, 2008). The drug would cause short unconsciousness and death after while. The physician assisted suicide bears its history in the states of Oregon in the United States of America. In 1997, the Oregon state legalized physician assisted suicide (Snyder, 2002). However, similar efforts have been made in other states such as Alaska, Arizona, Washington, Michigan, New Hampshire, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts and other states but have been in vain. This act is notably distinguished from euthanasia (Humphry, 2005). Euthanasia is the aspect of putting to death a patient who has remained in a suffering state and incurable condition for long. A medical provider can facilitate voluntary active euthanasia. This occurs when a patient requests for the same to a doctor or any other party who them responds by providing a lethal dose of a drug. However, involuntary euthanasia occurs when the medical provider provides lethal dose of drug to a patient without his/her consent. Based this, this paper intends to argue in support of the proponents (Kopelman, 2001). Legal Arguments in Support of Physician Assisted Suicide

In the United States, various cases have been filed and addressed in courts relating to legalizing physician assisted suicide. In 1994, there was a case of compassion in dying v. State of Washington (Drickamer et al, 2008; Oregon,...
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