State Health Laws on Physician Assisted Suicide

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Ciera Clark
NAtional American university | ME
Ciera Clark
NAtional American university | ME
State Health Laws on Physician-Assisted Suicide

State Health Laws on Physician-Assisted Suicide

February 15, 2013
February 15, 2013

Table of Contents
Introduction……………………………………………………………….2 About Euthanasia and Assisted suicide………………………………….2 Legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide……………………………….3 States considering bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide………….3-4 Death with Dignity Acts………………………………………………......4-5 Oppose Physician Assisted Suicide………………………………………5-6 Supporters…………………………………………………………………6-7 Reference…………………………………………………………………..7-8

Introduction
For decades, the public, government, and physicians have been debating over the “Death with Dignity Act” or “Physician-Assisted Suicide.” It started back in the Ancient Greek and Rome time. The debate originated around the Hippocratic Oath and the condemnation of the practice. With the upsurge of Christianity, many physicians continued to condemn the practice. Within the last two centuries the public has spurned many discussions about Physician-assisted suicide and Euthanasia from many different historic perspectives (Procon.org, 2012). Although this debate has been lengthy and many of the issues discussed over the centuries are repetitive, new ideas and concerns do emerge with the current debate. What do you think when you here assisted suicide? Would you want your family member to suffer with an illness that has put them in so much pain that they cannot function? Personally, I would not want to see my family member suffer in pain while they are dying with no cure. About Euthanasia and Assisted suicide

Euthanasia is an act or omission intended to cause the death of a person in order to eliminate suffering, allegedly for his/her benefit. Euthanasia can be voluntary (at the request of the person), involuntary (against the person’s wishes), or non-voluntary (when the person is unable to refuse or request to be killed) (Nightgale, 2010). Assisted suicide means that the person is given assistance to kill himself/herself. The person performs the last act that causes his/her own death. For example, it is assisted suicide if a person swallows an overdose of drugs provided by a doctor for the purpose of causing death (Nightgale, 2010).

Legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide
Euthanasia and assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are the only in the world where laws specifically permit euthanasia or assisted suicide. Oregon and Washington passed laws and Montana’s Supreme Court determined that assisted suicide is a medical treatment. The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg permit both euthanasia and assisted suicide. Although euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal in Switzerland, assisted suicide is penalized only if it is carried out “from selfish motives.” In 1995 Australia’s Northern Territory approved a euthanasia bill. It went into effect in 1996 but was overturned by the Australian Parliament in 1997. Also, in 1997, Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled that penalties for mercy killing should be removed. However the ruling does not go into effect until guidelines are approved by the Colombian Congress. Oregon and Washington was able to pass right-to-die laws, but they did so through voter referendums. Thirty-four states prohibit assisted suicide outright. Seven others, including Massachusetts, banned it through legal precedent. States considering bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide Right now there are six states that are considering bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide. This is a reflection of a growing national shift in attitude toward a procedure that was once regarded more in terms of killing, than compassion. Massachusetts, is a state that has opened the doors for discussion for a second year, after a ballot measure to legalize the procedure failed in the state last year. Other...
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