Physician Assisted Suicide Policy

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TITLE: Should physician-assisted suicide be legalized nationally?

Central Theme: To persuade my audience that physician-assisted suicide should be an option offered to terminally ill patients.
Specific Purpose: The Death with Dignity Act is working very well in Oregon. It should be available to all terminally ill United States citizens.

I Introduction Attention Gaining Strategy: I would like to begin my speech with a video clip from youtube. It is a television story which includes an interview with a terminally ill patient by the name of Brian Lovell, who resides in Portland, Oregon. He is considering physician-assisted suicide and this is what he has to say about the decision he is choosing to make. SHOW VISUAL AID.
1. As Lovell mentioned, he is a terminally ill patient. In healthcare, to be considered terminally ill, a patient must be diagnosed with an illness that is expected to end the patient’s in 6 months or less. (7) In this case, Lovell was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer that was rapidly spreading throughout his body. The stress involved with terminal illness is agonizing. Not only did Lovell have to cope with an inevitable fate that would eventually take its course in under 6 months, but he also had to cope with knowing that those last 6 months would be full of pain, exhaustion, and suffering for both him and his family.
2. It is important for all of us to understand why it is necessary to nationally legalize physician-assisted suicide. Our rights as citizens are being denied. In the United States Constitution, the 9th Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (1).” This Amendment basically means that even though certain rights are identified in the United States Constitution, those that are not mentioned should not be disregarded. This text, limits the government’s power over the citizens’ rights. It is



Bibliography: 1. "9th Amendment." The Free Dictionary. 23 June 2008 <http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com>. 2. "Attitudes Towards Hastened Death and PAS: Importance of Psychiatric Issues." Medscape Today. 1999. WebMD. 18 June 2008 <www.doctor.medscape.com>. 3. Christie, Tim. "Doctors Order Fewer Exams of Patients Seeking Suicide." The Register-Guard 10 Mar. 2006, sec. Health: 1a. Access World News. Temple University, Philadelphia. 6 June 2008. Keyword: Death with Dignity Act and Physician Assisted Suicide 2. 4. Staff, Statesman Journal. "Oregon 's Law." Statesman Journal 13 Apr. 2005, sec. Page One: 2a. Access World News. Temple University, Philadelphia. 6 June 2008. Keyword: Death with Dignity Act and Physician Assisted Suicide. 5. “Summary of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.” Department of Human Services. 21 Apr. 2008 <http://www.oregon.gov>. 6. “Supreme Court Rules 6-3 in Favor of Oregon’s Landmark Law.” 2008. Death with Dignity National Center. 8 June 2008 <http://www.deathwithdignity.org>. 7. "Terminally Ill." Health Insurance Terms. 20 June 2008 <http://www.healthinsurancesort.com>.

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