Physician Assisted Suicide - Essay

Topics: Suicide, Suffering, Medicine Pages: 5 (1959 words) Published: December 7, 2010
Tara Ford
English Comp 111
Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician assisted suicide is also called euthanasia. It is a highly debated topic on whether it should be legal or not. Some states have taken different stands on this question, some making it legal to do. I believe that every citizen who is suffering from a degenerative, painful or fatal condition, should have the right to decide if they want the option of a physician assisted suicide. I believe in a society such as ours we should all have the right to die with some kind of dignity. Although there are several debates against this view point, it is not up to anyone else to make decisions of the ill and infirm. As such it should be recognized that “patients have a right to make their own decisions to preserve free choice and human dignity: this right includes the right to choose assisted suicide” (Ersek 48). Further more having access to physician assisted suicide allows the patient to maintain control over their situation and to end life in an ethical and merciful manner. Even though the benefits of physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill patients are greatly significant, there is still great debate over it. These include the responsibility of the medical community and those of the religious community. It is necessary to look at both sides of the view to understand this, but more importantly take in to fact of the rights of the individual in pain due to terminal illness. Assisted suicide is a general term and does not necessarily refer to the involvement of a doctor. To be an assistant of a death or suicide of another human being is another issue that is being brought from physician assisted suicide. For my paper I will focus on the medical professional in on the oversight of the management of the assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is best defined as “the act of intentionally killing oneself with the assistance of another who deliberately provides the knowledge means or both. In physician assisted suicide, a physician provides the assistance” (Gupta2). Many people and groups question the medical community’s right to offer this choice, they believe it is the job of the medical professional to help people and ensure their access to all medical treatments that are available to the patients. These people do not believe it is not within the rights of the medical field to help patients die, but to help them to improve or at least continue life no matter what the quality of life is for the patient. I believe that this ignores the fact that some terminally ill patients suffer from a great deal of pain and no longer wish to live their lives artificially prolonged expensive, painful and debilitating treatments and would rather die quietly. For these people it would be most beneficial for the medical community to offer some kind of solution to the pain and prolonged life that may wish to commit suicide and are not capable to do it those selves. Being kept alive by technology against wills seems cruel and inhuman, epically if pain is a constant factor. It is the right of everyone to decide when he dies as well as the right to have no more pain and undo suffering. Cancer, advanced aids, and other terminal conditions often are incredibly painful and enduring. People with such illnesses can often survive for long periods of time, because of advanced treatments. The treatments that they have to endure can be very crippling in them selves. Some of the people who suffer from such terminal conditions have the right to make the argument that they should be able to choose the right to have an assisted suicide. They may not want to put them selves through the pain and suffering, and they may just want the right to cope with the end of their life at home where they are most comfortable. No matter what the case, the people who are suffering do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. They know that their death is imminent. They are also certain that the remainder of the...
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