Expanding the Death with Dignity Act: Our Basic Human Right for Compassion.
Dark and mysterious is the way of death, but for some it is a bittersweet welcome of departure. The unmentionable world of physician-assisted suicide is often a misjudged one. Without proper facts and appropriate laws to carry out dying with dignity, those who are terminally ill and wanting to die have no choice but to wait for death, deteriorating and suffering in the time being. Expanding the Death With Dignity Act would give legal freedom to those who choose to hasten their death with physician-assisted suicide when drawn-out end of life care is not a desired option. Imagine yourself or your loved one begging for mercy to leave this earth because of intolerable pain and no quality of life. You are powerless. However, when decided the best thing to do is take action by way if assisted suicide, you are now fearful of possible manslaughter charges just as the notorious Dr. Kevorkian faced. Rather the opposite is true; you want to be and see your loved one at ease. There are currently five states in America that have passed the Death with Dignity Act, (Death with Dignity National Center) in these states, there is no fear of assisting the dying patient his/her own choice of a peaceful hastened death.
The question that is most thrown around is, “Do we actually have a right to die?” Technically speaking, yes we do. It is not wrote in plain form in our constitution, it is through our “right to privacy and self-determination.” (Wolhandler, S.J.) We have a fundamental right to a humane and dignified death.
Physicians use the argument that assisted suicide goes against their principles of medical ethics. Stating, “A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care” (Ochsner pg.9) along with, “A physician should practice a method of healing.” (The Code of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association, Ochsner J 2003 pg. 7 sec 3)
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