Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Suicide Pages: 7 (2064 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

PHI 103 Informal Logic

May 14, 2012

Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

The argument over physician-assisted suicide or (PAS) and the right-to-die movement has plagued American society for decades. Many people are concern that legalizing doctor assisted suicide is irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine. However. The main issue surrounding the issue of assisted suicide is who has the right to choose when someone dies? There are numerous levels of questions 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 assisting in the suicide is a physician rather than a friend or family member. Because physicians are the ones used to their patients’ medical condition and have knowledge and access to carry out certain death for, terminally ill patients who have made the choice to end their lives often turn to their physicians for advice and help. Studies indicate, however, that many physicians are hesitant to provide their assistance in suicide because with their ethical beliefs or because it is illegal.

“Physician-assisted suicide is the act of a physician prescribing a drug to a patient who drugs the patient is able to take on his or her own without the assistance of a medical provider or another person. This drug generally results in unconsciousness within five minutes and death within thirty minutes. Physician-assisted suicide became legal in the state of Oregon on

October 27, 1997. From the date of legalization through December 31, 2000, there have been seventy reported cases of people utilizing the law to end their lives. Oregon is presently the only state in the country to legalize physician-assisted suicide”. (

Physician-assisted suicide 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 a drug to a patient upon the patient’s specific request. Involuntary euthanasia occurs when a medical provider or some other person administers a lethal dose of a drug to a patient without the patient’s specific request. (

Supporters of legalization believe that terminally ill individual 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 because vast amount of drugs that are being pump into their body. Being hooked up to life support equipment and being keep alive in a persistent vegetation state simple because they are biologically alive. Clearly there are diseases from which patients will simply not recover, many of which are extremely painful. In many of these situations, the patient will eventually become unable to care for themselves and must rely on a caregiver then you have the financial and emotion burden on their families. When

somebody makes a rational decision that their quality of life will deteriorate to such a level that it makes life unbearable for them do we have the right to deny them the opportunity to die with dignity at a place and time which suits them and with medical assistance to ensure that there are no mistakes?

To begin with, the nature of property rights, as described by DEMSETZ (1967, p.347) is a good point to start: „ An owner of property rights possesses the consent of fellow men to allow him to act in particular ways. An owner expects the community to prevent others from interfering with his actions, provided that...
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