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Physician Assisted Suicide

By Alvis2 Apr 17, 2013 987 Words
Physician Assisted Suicide
Forty-nine states have passed laws regulating assisted suicide, and forty-eight of them prohibit the study of it. Oregon is the only state where physicians are able to help their terminally ill patients, or anyone for that matter commit suicide. The debate of whether human beings, or even doctors have the right to help others die has been around since before the birth of Christ. There was an oath that was written the fourth century B.C, that states that physicians will not give a lethal drug to anyone, if asked and wont advise, and promise no abortions. Physician assisted suicide is the voluntary termination of ones own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician. Physician assisted suicide would cause suicides to climax. There is always another way out, no one should ever result to suicide, and no one should encourage it.

Physician assisted suicide first became an issue in 1990, when it was brought up to the public by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, with occasionally eliminating pain, with large amounts of morphine, but unintended death in the treatment. “Physician Assisted suicide should not be legalized” –Leon R. Kass. He feels that legalization will change the relationship between doctors and patients. They will be transformed from healers into prescribers of death. The elderly, ill, and disabled will feel as if they are forced to choose suicide as their option. Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would encourage euthanasia that will be performed without patient consent. Euthanasia or killing without consent would be violation of the fourteenth amendment: deprivation of life without due process law. The right to refuse unwanted intervention is seen as the right protecting how we choose to live even if dying, Doctors can focus on enhancing the lives of those dying, with relief of pain, giving support, rather than intentionally kill, or help kill, or allow the patient to die. In Holland, assisted suicide and euthanasia have been practiced for over a decade, in the 1994 Oregon law, legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

The legalization of physician assisted suicide, and the establishment of a constitutional right, “to die” are troubling events. “Suicide is not an individual right” –Robert P. George. He believes that the right to life is fundamental. It’s said that not even oneself cannot own a human being. Therefore, making it that they do not have the right to take their own life. There are individuals fighting for their life, everyday of their life, and they don’t even have a choice because they are naturally losing life. People who have a choice, and so much life to live are deciding to end their own life, or get help ending it.

Physician assisted suicide, as in helping someone take their own life, and or helping them make the choice involving it. Even just thinking about the fact of being ill, or referring to committing suicide can make a patient depressed, before they could even get a chance to get mental health and actually think the decision through. All doctors know that when they give a patient a date to live that it is just an educated guess. Usually the patient can live longer then they predict. All people who suggest the help with suicide are never admitted to a psychiatrist to help them rethink their decision and get real help rather than just helping them commit the suicide. Some patients may already be suffering from mental illness but cant think straight and aren’t being sent to get real help they just go along with the decision. There is always a better way. When the patient does become more ill they could treat them with more compassion and understanding, to help them live their last few days well.

Walter Reich argues that doctors who help their patients commit suicide are guilty of murder. A doctor is supposed to help, and bring life to the world, not end it. It is not their life to take. He feels that if doctors are allowed to get away with killing people, that eventually all society will do the same. In 1990, 1 out if 50 deaths were supposedly mercy killings. That is way more life that ever need to be taken. Those are all lives that could have lived longer lives that could have gotten the right help and that cold have been prevented. A patient, no matter what the circumstances are is still a human being, and is still alive, and killing someone even if it is because they want it, is still killing someone. It would be the same as killing the people who ask for to killing the people who deserve it!

Thomas A. Preston thinks otherwise. He states that there is a difference between “killing ones being” to “depriving them of life. He thinks that there is no distinction between letting a patient die, and assisting them to suicide. They feel that physician assisted suicide is just a compassionate way of helping the patient from suffering; they feel it is immoral to stop them from killing one self. That killing them self is their decision and no on should stop them from doing what they feel is right. They feel that it should be legalized so that it would be easier to give them the medical treatments to remove the suffering.

In the end, Assisted suicide is immoral. There is always a way to prevent suicide. There is a difference between helping someone, and making the decision for them. When helping someone make the decision about suicide it could turn into peer pressure. What if talking to someone makes them lean more and more towards suicide. If they got the right mental help they wouldn’t be thinking about this decision in the first place. But since instead of getting the right helps for them, they decide to go and help them commit suicide.

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