Physician assisted suicide

The Right to die debate; is the common name of this current issue. It’s legal in the state of Oregon since 1998. Since then more than 341 terminally ill people have taken advantage of it to hasten their deaths. According to Humphry (2013, September) “The Washington Death with Dignity Act, Initiative 1000, codified as RCW 70. 245, passed on November 4, 2008” http://finalexit. org/assisted_suicide_laws_united_states. html. He also stated “On December 31, 2009, the Montana Supreme Court ruled in a 4-2 decision that nothing in state law prevents patients from seeking physician-assisted suicide”.

Also, Humphry (2013, September 7) “In May 2013 the Vermont state legislature passed the “End-of-Life Choices” law, a provision allowing patients who have been diagnosed by two doctors as having six months or less to live to request a doctor-assisted death” http://finalexit. org/assisted_suicide_laws_united_states. html. Also it is legal around the world in these countries, Switzerland in 1941, Belgium in 2002 and Netherlands, since l984.

According to Lerner & Lerner (2006) “Physician-assisted suicide refers to the practice of a physician prescribing or regulating, upon a patient’s informed request, a lethal dose of medication for the purpose of ending that patient’s life” (p. 459). They also stated “Physician- assisted suicide differs from euthanasia in that patients, and not physicians, ultimately control their own means of death” (p. 459). November 1 of 2014 Brittany Maynard, a 29 years old woman from Portland Oregon, decided to cut her life short after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, to be more specific, terminal brain cancer. She was given six month to live.

She took a lethal drugs prescribed by her physician and kill herself. Running head: PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE 3 In the last three month of her life, she gained twenty five pounds, just for the use of prescribed medication. She was having two seizures daily, and her recover was gradually more difficult every day. Her prognosis was limited to six months of life, and the doctor told her the at one point she will lose control over herself, that the brain tumor will keep on growing and her brain will be crush against the skull.

Since Brittany find out her fate, she become an advocate for the right to die with dignity act. Like every argument there is at least two sides, ones that support the physician assisted suicide and another that oppose it. The support side stated according to Lerner & Lerner (2006), “Most proponents of physician-assisted suicide agree that the practice must be regulated by both law and the medical profession to prevent abuse and promote safety. Proponents assert that assisting some patients to hasten their deaths does not violate the ethical duty of physicians” (p.461).

They also stated the patients’ tremendous amounts of pain and suffering will end, the patients die knowing that it was their choice, the patients can die with dignity rather than a shell of their former selves, health care costs can be reduced, pain of the patient’s family can be reduced. Vital organs can be saved and used to save other patients and without physician assistance people may commit suicide in messy, horrifying, or traumatic ways. One the other hand we have those that oppose the physician assisted suicide; according to Lerner & Lerner (2006), “opponents of physician-assisted suicide assert that the practice undermines in society the value of individual life.

Many disability advocates claim that physician-assisted suicide enforces negative social stereotypes about what people consider a Running head: PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE 4 valuable and meaningful existence. They claim that by giving terminally ill patients a means of avoiding debilitation physicians are reinforcing attitudes that debilitation makes life unbearable or less worthy. Some worry that elderly and disabled patients may be pressured into choosing physician-assisted suicide, or that these patients may not be presented with the full range of available palliative (pain-relieving) care” (p. 461).

Also according to the Hippocrates oaths it states that when treating patients, physicians will “First do no harm. ” It goes on to state that “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked nor suggest any such counsel. ” Therefore we can say that is a direct violation to Hippocrates oath, and it creates a bioethical problem to the physician. Saving money instead of patients is another argument that the opposition use.

They stated that the highest cost of medical care exists in the last six months of life, and to attempt to save money by doing less for the patients rather than rendering the proper care to them it is not an option than any doctor should attempt, due to the responsibility that the profession carry. After carefully thinking about this tough subject, I have to say, that I’m in favor of the physician assisted suicide. I believe that the right to die with dignity it will exceed any other argument from the opposition. Control over your own death, when you’ve had no control for so long over your illness, I think the human thing to do.

At least is good to have the option. If you don’t believe or support the PAS, no one will force you to use it. If you decide to take your own life, instead of slowing dying of an illness that makes you suffer. While all the people that loves you, suffer with you, and witness the slow deterioration of your health. Don’t you think, that we should ask yourself, how do you like to be remembered?

Running head: PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE 5 When it comes to regulations of who will qualify for the PAS, I think it’s the hard part,but we can simplify saying the any person, regardless the age, if is over 18 years old, who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and with almost no chance of survival will qualify for PAS. Any disease that is untreatable and nonsurgical and has a terminal characteristic, the patient will have the opportunity to choose his own path. Also the patients must be capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him or herself. At least two different physicians should reach the same prognosis. In conclusion, I think that the human thing to do is to give the option to those, which fate and luck abandoned at same point.

And just give them our support if they chose to overpower they illness with the last resource. Like Emiliano Zapata said “I’ll rather die on my feet than living on my knees! ” Running head: PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE 6.

References K. L. Lerner & B. W. Lerner (Eds. ). (2006). The Promised End. Medicine, Health, and Bioethics: Essential Primary Sources (pp. 459-463). Detroit: Gale. Derek Humphry (2013, September 7) Assisted Suicide Laws in United States. Retrieved from http://finalexit. org/assisted_suicide_laws_united_states. html.

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