Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal? PHI 103 Informal Logic May 14, 2012 Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal? The argument over physician-assisted suicide or (PAS) and the right-to-die movement has plagued American society for decades. Many people are concern that legalizing doctor assisted suicide is irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine. However. The main issue surrounding the issue of assisted suicide is who has the right to choose when someone dies? There are numerous levels of questions and views surrounding this right.
Physician-assisted suicide should be a legalized medical practice for terminally ill patient who needs to be relieved from suffering so that they may have a peaceful death. Physician-assisted suicide takes place when the person assisting in the suicide is a physician rather than a friend or family member. Because physicians are the ones used to their patients’ medical condition and have knowledge and access to carry out certain death for, terminally ill patients who have made the choice to end their lives often turn to their physicians for advice and help.
Studies indicate, however, that many physicians are hesitant to provide their assistance in suicide because with their ethical beliefs or because it is illegal. “Physician-assisted suicide is the act of a physician prescribing a drug to a patient who drugs the patient is able to take on his or her own without the assistance of a medical provider or another person. This drug generally results in unconsciousness within five minutes and death within thirty minutes.
Physician-assisted suicide became legal in the state of Oregon on October 27, 1997. From the date of legalization through December 31, 2000, there have been seventy reported cases of people utilizing the law to end their lives. Oregon is presently the only state in the country to legalize physician-assisted suicide”. (www. levinlaw. com) Physician-assisted suicide is distinguished from euthanasia. Euthanasia is the performance of putting to death a person suffering from an incurable condition.
Voluntary active euthanasia occurs when a medical provider or some other person administers a lethal dose of a drug to a patient upon the patient’s specific request. Involuntary euthanasia occurs when a medical provider or some other person administers a lethal dose of a drug to a patient without the patient’s specific request. (www. levinlaw. com) Supporters of legalization believe that terminally ill individual have the right to end their own lives in a peaceful manner. Supporter of legalization are responding to the fear of being terminal ill requires many sacrifices and changes.
The fear of being filled with limitless suffering, anguish, and terrible pain and agony, they are too numb because vast amount of drugs that are being pump into their body. Being hooked up to life support equipment and being keep alive in a persistent vegetation state simple because they are biologically alive. Clearly there are diseases from which patients will simply not recover, many of which are extremely painful. In many of these situations, the patient will eventually become unable to care for themselves and must rely on a caregiver then you have the financial and emotion burden on their families.
When somebody makes a rational decision that their quality of life will deteriorate to such a level that it makes life unbearable for them do we have the right to deny them the opportunity to die with dignity at a place and time which suits them and with medical assistance to ensure that there are no mistakes? To begin with, the nature of property rights, as described by DEMSETZ (1967, p. 347) is a good point to start: „ An owner of property rights possesses the consent of fellow men to allow him to act in particular ways.
An owner expects the community to prevent others from interfering with his actions, provided that these actions are not prohibited in the specification of his rights. It is important to note that property rights convey the right to benefit or harm oneself and others. “(Emphasis added, W. W. ) From this description it could be inferred that one may dispose of one? s own life in particular ways. Note that this view requires the entitlement to one’s own life to be in that subset of all possible actions to which Demsetz definition applies6. Given the legitimacy to dispose of one’s own life. (Weigel, Wolfgang, 2010)
I think that people should be allowed to choose whether they live or die, because it is their own life to do as they are please. These patients are prohibited from facing death with dignity. They are so numbed because they are pumped with so many drugs. I took care of my sister for 2 years, she was in a light coma, and I believed she could hear me, always tears rolling down her face. I recalled my sister saying she never wanted to live in a vegetation state. I had to feed her thru a tube, changed her diaper 4 to 6 times a day, and turned her on her side every 4 hours, so she wouldn’t get bed sores.
I gave her insulin injection 3 times a day. I could go on forever. My family and I decided we would take turns, but it was all left up to me. Health care came by on the week days to help with her bath and others things. I felt it she was with family she would come out of the coma, after 18 months I needed a break, so hospice would takes her for 1 month and she would come back home with me. She did not last a month; she left this world in a week. I felt joy but sorrow at the same time. Joy, because she is with God, in a better place. Sorrow, I let her down, a place I know she did not want to be. She did not die with dignity.
This is why I strongly believed in PAS. Opponent for not legalizing physician-assisted suicide fear that it will create a climate in which some people are pressured into committing suicide. Loved ones are being pressure to pursue the option out of a selfish desire to avoid the burden of caring for him or her until death. Doctors begin pressuring terminal ill to commit suicide. The poor at risk simply because they are less able to afford health care, which may give an incentive to health care providers to euthanize an individual in order to cut costs. Euthanasia becomes a cynical choice for insurance companies to cut costs?
Will it reduce the incentive of physicians to offer rigid palliative care to patients who are terminally ill feel it is their duty to die to elude any problem for their loved ones. ( Lynn, J. 1999, 2006) “A 1997 study showed by the American Medical Association (AMA) found that more than half of Americans believe physician-assisted suicide should be legal. When people are informed about alternative to the technological treatments so many of us fear, and about the availability of pain control and hospice care, their support for physician-assisted suicide goes down to under one-fifth.
This study seems to show that when people are informed about all of their end-of-life . choices they are less likely to opt for assisted suicide”. (www. growthhouse. org) “On October 27, 1997, Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act became law, thus legalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS). This legislation, a morality policy, arose from patients’ rights and right-to-die issues. Since the passing of this law, 246 Oregonians have committed PAS. Oregon’s Death With Dignity policy development and policy modifications are analyzed using one specific policy development process model. ( Altmann,T ;amp; t Collins, S. E, 2007) Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is the provision of a means, by a physician, for a terminally ill patient to end his or her own life (Farella, 2001). This take place when a physician prescribes a lethal amount of a drug, or administers the drug itself, for the patient to self-administer, causing death. “Peter Goodwin, a Portland physician who campaigned for an Oregon law that permits terminal ill patients to end their lives with dignity. Peter Goodwin died March 11 at his home after using lethal chemicals obtained under the initiative he championed. He was 83. A pokesman for the organization Compassion and Choices confirmed the death; the group advocates aid-in-dying laws and supports patients and families facing the end of life” ( Altmann, T ;amp; t Collins, S. E, 2007) Rather, in his view, when at death’s door, “the situation needs thought it doesn’t need hope. It needs planning. Hope is too ephemeral at that time. ” ( Altmann, T ;amp; t Collins, S. E, 2007) “Oregon was the first state to allows terminally ill patients to take their own lives with the help of lethal medications supplied by a doctor, a measure known as the Death with Dignity Act and approved by voters in 1994 and 1997.
In 2010, 65 people used it to precipitate their death in Oregon, the highest number since it was enacted. Washington and Montana have adopted similar legislation. ” ( Altmann, T ;amp; t Collins, S. E, 2007). Dr. Goodwin crusaded for years to indorse the law. He said it spurred medicine to emphasis attention on the needs of the dying, with more palliative care and hospice. In his interview with the Oregonian, Dr. Goodwin said life is unfair, but offered a prescription. “Furthermore, it is argued, we ourselves have an obligation to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings and to respect their dignity.
Lying in our hospitals today are people afflicted with excruciatingly painful and terminal conditions and diseases that have left them permanently incapable of functioning in any dignified human fashion. They can only look forward to lives filled with yet more suffering, degradation, and deterioration. When such people beg for a merciful end to their pain and dignity, it is cruel and inhumane to refuse their pleas. compassion demands that we comply and cooperate”. (http://www. scu. edu) It can be argued that PAS would allow terminally ill patients some authority over what is happening in their lives.
It might decline the amount of needless suffering an individual must endure and provide him or her with dignity, autonomy, and integrity in the final journey. | | | | I strongly support the view that in case of assisted suicide the choice for death is a deeply personal one-one that is for a terminal ill patient to make and their caregiver to carry out under the conditions I’ve specified. Each condition is different and unique, each patient experiencing pain in their own way. I t is not place of some else, or society to telling these patients that they don’t know what’s best for their bodies-that they can’t end their own lives.
This situation exposes itself as an incredible hypocrisy, given the fact that nearly nobody who goes through the pain that these patients that they don’t know what’s best for their bodies-that they can’t end their own lives. (http://www. scu. edu) If physician assisted, suicide is not legalized; it will not stop people from doing it. I have given reason for and against physician assisted suicide. I believe physician assisted suicide should be legalized, because it will benefit the terminally ill patient, so that they may die with dignity. No one hold jurisdiction over an individual’s life.
References Altmann, T ;amp; Collin, S. E. (2010). The Right to Die: A Property-Rights-Perspective. Retrieved (http://ssrn. com/abstract=1678395 http://dx. doi. org/10. 2139/ssrn. 1678395) Andre, C. ;amp; Velasquez, M. (n. d. )Assisted Suicide. A Right or a Wrong? Retrieved from: (http://www. scu. edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n1/suicide. html) | | Delhi, (2010). The Orgins of ending life mercifully. Retrieved from: http://proquest. umi. com/ pqdweb? did=2166146411;amp;sid=3;amp;Fmt=3;amp;clientId=74379;amp;RQT=309 ;amp;VName=PQD Lynn, J. 1999, 2006). Handbook for Mortals: Hastening Death: Arguments against PAS. Retrieved from: http://www. growthhouse. org/mortals/mort2526. htmlLynn, J. (1999, 2006) Handbook for Mortals: Hastening Death: Arguments supporting PAS. Retrieved from: http://www. growthhouse. org/mortals/mort2527. htmlWeigel, Wolfgang, (2010). The Right to Die: A Property-Rights-Perspective. Available at SRN:http://ssrn. com/abstract=1678395http://dx. doi. org/10. 2139/ssrn. 1678395Weigel, W| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |