Physician Assisted Suicide

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Physician-Assisted Suicide
Machele Carter
Informal Logic PHI103
Instructor Jason Lum
May 19, 2013

The argument over physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and the right-to-die movement has plagued American society, for decades. A large amount of people are concerned that legalizing doctor assisted suicide is irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine. Nevertheless, the main issue surrounding the issue of assisted suicide is who has the right to choose when someone dies? There are countless of questions in different levels, and views surrounding this right. Physician-assisted suicide should be a legalized medical practice for terminally ill patient who needs to be relieved from suffering so that they may have a peaceful death. Physician-assisted suicide takes place when the person place when the person assisting in the suicide is a physician rather than a friend or family member. Nevertheless, physicians are the ones use to their patients’ medical condition. They have the knowledge to access, and carry out certain wishes for death. Terminally ill patients, who have made the choice to end their lives often, turn to their physicians for advice and help. Studies indicate that many physicians are hesitant to provide their assistance in suicide with the fact of ethical beliefs and/or it is illegal. “Physician-assisted suicide is the act of a physician prescribing a drug to a patient, who then is able to take on his or her own without the assistance of a medical provider or other person” (Gunderson, 2000). The drug generally results in unconsciousness within five minutes and death within thirty minutes. This is similar to the way they do euthanasia in pets with the first drug and then the second to shut everything down until it stops. This is the best pain free with no suffering way.

Physician-assisted suicide this is distinguished from euthanasia. Euthanasia is the performance of putting to death a person suffering from an incurable condition. Voluntary active euthanasia occurs when a medical provider or some other person administers a lethal dose of drug to a patient upon the patient’s request. Involuntary euthanasia occurs when a medical provider or some other person administers a lethal dose of drug to a patient without the patients request (Anonymous, 1998). Physician-assisted suicide became legal in the state of Oregon on October 27, 1997. Since the date of legalization through December 31, 2000, there have been seventy reported cases of people utilizing this law to end their lives. Oregon, Washington, and Montana, are the only states that have physician-assisted suicide. Washington passed the law in November 2008, and enacted in 2009. Montana had passed the law December 2009; however, today they are now trying to overrule this law that has past. There are several other states, which are considering passing the law; they would be Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Vermont (Gordon, 2013). Supporters of legalization believe that terminally ill individuals have the right to end their own lives in a peaceful manner. Supporter of legalization are responding to the fear of being terminal ill requires many sacrifices and changes. The fear of being filled with limitless suffering, anguish, and terrible pain and agony, they are too numb with the vast amount of drugs that are being put into their bodies. They are hooked up to some form of life support equipment and are kept alive in a persistent vegetation state simple because they are biologically alive. Nevertheless, there are diseases from which patients will simply never recover, many of which are extremely painful. With many of these situations, the patient will eventually become unable

to care for him or herself and must rely on caregivers, by this point it becomes financially and an emotional burden on the family. When somebody makes a rational decision that their quality of life will deteriorate to such level that...
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