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By ekc1102 Oct 02, 2013 1057 Words


Should Physician Assisted Suicide be Legal?
Eileen Cordova
PHI 103: Informal Logic (ABK1323K)
Instructor James Hardy
June 18, 2013

Final Paper Outline
I. Introduction
Physician-assisted suicide has been a controversal topic for over a decade now. In today’s society, physician-assisted suicide brings up many ethical questions such, who is the true owner of our lives, or should relieving the pain and suffering always be the highest priority, or does it occur for a reason? Is God the really the Beginning and End of all creation in heaven and earth? After all, God did create mankind, right? Therefore, it should be God’s decision whether or not our time here on earth is up, is the beliefs of many religious groups.

A. Thesis Statement
There are no clear answers as the whether or not physician-assisted suicide be legalized mostly because this is an ethical issue that is dependent on an individual’s values, morals, beliefs, religion, and experiences. Therefore, the debate stands on whether assisted suicide be legal or not. This paper will provide the pros and cons, and the benefits and disadvantages of physician-assisted suicide.

II. Body Paragraph #1 – Topic Sentence #1

Physician-assisted suicide presents one of the greater contemporary challenges to the medical profession’s ethical responsibilities. Proposed as a mean to humane care of the dying, assisted suicide threatens the very core of the medical profession’s integrity.

A. Supporting Evidence
Broad public debate of assisted suicide was sparked in June 1990, when Dr. Jack Keverkian assisted in the suicide of Janet Adkins (NY Times, June 6, 1990: A1). The debate advanced in March 1991, when Dr Timothy McQuill disclosed his assistance in the suicide of Diane Trumbell. Other public events quickly followed .

B. Explanation
Physician-assisted suicide, together euthanasia, was placed on the public ballot in Washington State, in 1991, and in Califonia, in November 1992. In both cases, voters turned down proposal’s to legalize physician-assisted sucide (USA Today, August 9, 1993: 13A). In September 1998, by a vote of 5-4, Canada’s Supreme Court denied a woman’s request to end her life by assisted suicide (October 29, 1993: A8). In 1994, voters in Oregon will decide whether to legalize assisted suicide in their on their state.

C. So what?
In 1993, Resolution 3 was announced at the Annual Meeting by announced at the Annaul Meeting by the Medical Student Section and referred to the Board of Trustees by the House of Delegates requested on ethical study of assisted suicide. In that report, the council revised the issue of physician-assisted suicide.

III. Body Paragraph #2 – Topic Sentence #2

“Physician Assisted Death (PAD) was legalized by referendum in the state of Oregon in the mid 1990’s, and no there are 11 years of data studying the practice. PAD was also legalized by referendum in the state of Washington in 2008 and it’s currrently permitted in Montana since 2009 based on case law” (Quill, T.E., 2012).

A. Supporting Evidence
When one thinks of suicide, we think of a person who takes their own life. A patient who is physically capable of committing suicide will act out, and end their own life with any kind of weapons, objects, or pills is physician-assisted suicide. For a number of reasons, the medical profession has rejected assisted suicide as fundamentally inconsistant with the professional role of physicians as healers. Indeed, according to the Hippocratic Oath, physician’s shall “give no deadly frug to any, though it be askeds of {them}, nor will {they} council such,” Physician’s serve patient’s, not because patient’s exercise self determination, but because patients are in need.

B. Explanation
Therefore, a patient may not insist on treatment that are not inconsistant with sound medical practices. Rather, physician’s provide treatment that is designed to make patient’s well, or as well as possible. The physician’s role is to affirm life, not to hasten it’s demise.

C. So What?
Objections to causing death also underlie religious views on assisted suicide. Most of the world’s major religion’s oppose sucide in all forms and do not condone it, even in cases of suffering, or immediate death. In justification of their position, religions generally espouse common beliefs about the santity of human life, the appropriate interpretation of suffering, and the sbordination of individual autonomy to a belief in God’s will or sovereignty.

IV. Body Paragraph #3 – Topic Sentence #3

The relief of suffering is an essential part of the physician’s role as healer, and some patient’s seek assisted suicide because they are in extreme pain, or suffering greatly.

A. Supporting Evidence
Suffering is complex process that may exist in one or several forms, including pain, loss of self control and independence, a sense of futility, and loss of dignity and fear of dying. It’s incumbent upon physician’s to discuss and identify the elements contrubuting to the patient, and address each appropriately. The patient, and family members as well, should participate with the physician to ensure that measures to provide comfort will be given the patient in a timely fashion. B. Explanation

The first priortiy for the care of the patients facing severe pain as a result of a terminal illness or chronic condition should be the relief of their pain. Techniques of patient controlled analgesia (PCA) enhanse the sense of contol of terminally ill patients, and, for the this specific reason, are particularly effective. Often, it’s the loss of contol, rather than physical pain that causes the most suffering for dying patient’s. C. So What?

In contrast, those that are for assisted suicide argue that it is a patient’s right to decide whether they want to live or die. Physician-assisted suicide opens the door to policies that carrie for greater risk. For example, if assisted suicide is permitted and legalized, then there is a strong argument for allowing euthanasia. It would be arbitrary to permit patient’s who have the physical capability to take a pill to end their lives, but let similarly suffering patients die if they require the lethal drug to be administered by another person. Once euthanasia is permitted, there is a serious risk of involuntary deaths.

V. Conclusion
A. There are many arguments for and against physician-assisted suicide, an the answer to whether it is right or wrong is left unanswered. B. Therefore, request for physician-assisted suicide should be a warning signal to the physician that the pateint’s needs are not being met.

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