Physician Assisted Suicide Policy

Topics: United States Constitution, Psychiatry, Mental disorder Pages: 5 (1705 words) Published: June 30, 2008
TITLE: Should physician-assisted suicide be legalized nationally?

Central Theme: To persuade my audience that physician-assisted suicide should be an option offered to terminally ill patients. Specific Purpose: The Death with Dignity Act is working very well in Oregon. It should be available to all terminally ill United States citizens.

I Introduction

Attention Gaining Strategy: I would like to begin my speech with a video clip from youtube. It is a television story which includes an interview with a terminally ill patient by the name of Brian Lovell, who resides in Portland, Oregon. He is considering physician-assisted suicide and this is what he has to say about the decision he is choosing to make. SHOW VISUAL AID. 1.As Lovell mentioned, he is a terminally ill patient. In healthcare, to be considered terminally ill, a patient must be diagnosed with an illness that is expected to end the patient’s in 6 months or less. (7) In this case, Lovell was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer that was rapidly spreading throughout his body. The stress involved with terminal illness is agonizing. Not only did Lovell have to cope with an inevitable fate that would eventually take its course in under 6 months, but he also had to cope with knowing that those last 6 months would be full of pain, exhaustion, and suffering for both him and his family. 2.It is important for all of us to understand why it is necessary to nationally legalize physician-assisted suicide. Our rights as citizens are being denied. In the United States Constitution, the 9th Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (1).” This Amendment basically means that even though certain rights are identified in the United States Constitution, those that are not mentioned should not be disregarded. This text, limits the government’s power over the citizens’ rights. It is apparent that the 9th Amendment protects American citizens’ right to physician-assisted suicide. It makes no sense as to why the United States government has neglected to legalize physician-assisted suicide throughout the nation. It is our right as citizens to be able to choose our time of death if we become terminally ill. 3. It is with that notion that I would like to present to you my ideal policy for physician-assisted suicide on a national level. Throughout my speech I will be addressing the patient guidelines that associate with legalized physician-assisted suicide and the importance of a psychiatric analysis. It is with these guiding principles that my policy with ultimately strengthen.

Transition: Just as a quick reminder, the Death with Dignity Act guarantees terminally ill citizens of Oregon the right to choose physician-assisted suicide as a mean to end their lives. The Death with Dignity Act’s guidelines are very strict and prevent the possibility of error.

II. Body
A. First Main Point: The national physician-assisted suicide policy would revolve around these guidelines which were established by Oregon’s government.

1.Sub-point: To prevent error, Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act includes many crucial guidelines that hospitals must adhere to before physicians are permitted to arrange the termination of a patient. Designed to protect the doctor and the patient, the strict guidelines ensure an accurate diagnosis and prevent any pressure the patient may experience (6). Statistics, from Oregon’s government website, prove that the Death with Dignity Act is moving in a positive direction in that it is not being abused and is rather being utilized by patients who are putting genuine and educated thought into ending their lives (5). 2.Sub-point: The following guidelines are set out by the Death with Dignity Act and could be easily transferred to a larger scale if physician-assisted suicide was legalized on a national level. In order...
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