Death With Dignity
Euthanasia is a controversial subject that has been a longstanding and multifaceted debate. The argument over patient rights and physicians responsibilities has been on going since the 1950's. Suicide is a legal act that is theoretically available to all, however many people think that euthanasia is far worse than suicide. Doctor assisted suicide should be permitted, it gives a patient the right to choose between a life without dignity and hope, or ending their pain and suffering with an honorable closure on the life they had.
Patients who are terminally ill and feel their life is not worth living because of loss of dignity and loss of capability may long for death, and it should be available to them. Life can become so unpleasant, become so hopeless that virtually no one would wish to continue it; the opponent of euthanasia must face that. (AP) Suffering can take many forms, but physical agony and emotional despair are the ones that take toll on a patient with no hope of ever getting better. When people have to repeatedly and actively ask for help from others they might feel like a burden or feel useless. Having the option to choose whether they would like to die or go on living should be their choice. When patients have to rely on pain medication, they may fear that could become addicted, or that the medication may not work. When someone with a deadly disease or medical condition is told the doctors might find a cure, their hope is already gone and they have no faith in waiting for a cure that may never come.
In the future we may find a successful cure that could save many people that are just waiting for one to come along. Advances in medical science have made it possible to cure pneumonia in cancer patients by administering antibiotics, which would have killed them before. Cardiac arrest and kidney failure is no longer fatal with the new appropriate technological interventions. Scientists and doctors are studying and constantly researching medical conditions to find cures. Medication prevents pain and suffering and can help a patient rest easily. Some people may have been mis-diagnosed and are told that they have six months to live, when in fact they have lived a year or more past their expected date. If only people could wait and see what would happen to them, instead of just ending their lives, they might be satisfied with what would happen. (SB)
The cost to keep someone on life support or to keep them hanging on is very high; in fact it is a lot higher than the actual act of euthanasia. When a person s family has to pay for them to stay alive, with expensive medications and life support machines, it can be an enormous amount of money, and who knows how long it would go on like that. The sick individual may feel bad about having to depend on family for help, and decide they do not want to feel like that. All of the time and money that is spent on a patient, who wishes to die, could be better spent on finding a cure. The cost of doctor assisted suicide in the long run would be a considerably less than sustaining life.
A patient may feel, as though, family is forcing them into assisted suicide members. (SB) Euthanasia should be the patient s decision, not the family's, however that is not always the case. Heirs to the terminally ill's estate may coheres them into euthanasia, when there are other options available. The suffering of the dying may cause pain among the family, and this may lead family members to encourage doctor-assisted suicide. Family members who force loved ones into doctor assisted suicide should be punished by the law.
Doctor assisted suicide is a quick and painless way for someone who is terminally ill to end their pain. Although, assisted suicide means having someone else help in the process of ending a life, it is a quick and reliable way of dying. By not allowing a patient the right to a doctor assisted suicide; they may try themselves, causing themselves and their families more pain. As opposed to euthanasia, suicide may be a longer and more painful process of dying. It would be better for the ill to be able to end their life on peaceful terms, rather than on suicidal terms.
Passing a law in favor of physician assisted suicide might lead to further legislation which might allow termination of life in other groups. Mentally ill, severely handicapped, social misfits, or incompetent people may wish to end their lives if they had the option of choosing assisted suicide. A mentally ill person is obviously not of a stable enough mind to choose to have someone help them end their life. If encouraged, doctors may choose assisted suicide as a way of dealing with mentally ill patient Terminally ill patients should have the right to decide about their own lives, as well as their deaths. Whether a person wants to live or die, it should be their decision. Doctor assisted suicide would allow patients the option of dying before their pain becomes worse. It could allow a person to say their good-byes to their families, allow them to have all of their affairs in order before they die. (AP) If a patient is in so much pain they cannot bear it, than they should be able to have a quick death. Denying patients the right to die with dignity and lucidity is unfair and cruel.
If physician assisted suicide means giving a patient the right to choose between a life without dignity and hope, or ending their pain and suffering with an honorable closure on life, than it should be permitted. When a patient has no desire to go on living and wants to die before their condition gets worse, they should be allowed to decide how their life ends and why. Assisted suicide is known to have been going on without fanfare and without legal support for many years. It is time to give physician-assisted suicide the legal justification that it deserves.
The Death With Dignity Act and Physician Assisted Suicide Essay
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The Death With Dignity Act and Physician Assisted Suicide
According to the American Medical Association (1996), physician-assisted suicide (PAS) occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing either the means or the information necessary to aid in the patient performing the life-ending act. PAS has had a long and controversial history dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. They believed that there was no reason to prolong life if continued pain and suffering was the only prognosis. The term euthanasia, in fact, stems from the Greek meaning "a good death". It was not until Hippocrates and his Hippocratic Oath, cautioning against deadly medicine towards patients, that a different view was seen.…show more content…
The DWDA contained strict regulations and guidelines governing the usage of PAS. Some of it's main points were as follows. The patient must be able to make a fully informed and voluntary decision based on a terminal diagnosis of less than six months of life by two separate physicians. The patient had to submit two oral and one written request with a waiting period of 15 days between both oral requests and a 48-hour period between the final written request and disbursement of the requested medication. The DWDA did not allow for either mercy killing or active euthanasia, in which the physician performs the act of administering the fatal drug or drugs. The medicines prescribed were either pentobarbital, secobarbital or a combo of amobarbital and secobarbital. It also punishes anyone found to be coercing the patient to use this option. In 1998, the first full year that the DWDA was in effect, 23 residents of Oregon received PAS prescriptions. Out of those 23, 15 patients died from following through with taking the medication. Between 1998 and 2007, a total of 292 deaths in Oregon have been due to PAS. The most common reasons reported for choosing this option were fear of losing their autonomy (100%), fear of losing their dignity (86%), and a decreased ability to participate in the activities that made their life enjoyable (86%) (Lachman, 2010). The majority of the patients choosing PAS