Ethical Perspective on Assisted Suicide

Topics: Right to die, Suicide, Euthanasia Pages: 3 (1081 words) Published: June 1, 2005
Ethical Perspective on Assisted Suicide

In every state in the United States of America, except Oregon, it is illegal to assist any person in ending their own life. It does not matter what the condition of the person is, how sick, or how much pain they are in. Have you ever considered what position you would take if you or one of your loved ones were in the situation where they would rather end their life, than continue living in excruciating pain and agony? Would you die in pain, slowly succumbing to cancer and being brutalized by chemotherapy, or would you rather die with dignity and ease? I believe that assisted suicide ought to be legal in every state and that patients have the right to die an easy and painless death. "Having a terminal illness and being in excruciating pain is like being locked in a room without knowing where the key is, this measure gives patients a means of escape." (Rollin)

Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, comes from the Greek word "euthanatos" or easy death. There are two types of euthanasia: active and passive. Active euthanasia is when a physician administers lethal drugs to a patient, ending the patient's life. For example, injecting potassium chloride, or inhaling carbon monoxide. The doctor may also provide the patient with a prescription for drugs and advise the proper amount to end one's life. Passive euthanasia is when the patient dies from the withholding or withdrawing of treatment. If a patient is on a machine to help them breathe, and it is disconnected, it is considered to be passive euthanasia. The main difference between active and passive euthanasia is that active euthanasia is illegal, and passive is not. If assisted suicide were legal, there would be standards that must be followed to ensure that the option is not misused. "It is currently occurring outside the law and without any reporting requirements." (Smith) Patients must be terminally ill and in sound mental health. Assisted suicide...
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