Physican Assitied Suicide

October 25, 2011
The Right To Die

Physician assisted suicide may be seen as a horrible issue to even discuss, when to die and when to live is an issue expressed all over the world. There is an elderly man lying in a hospital bed, he just had his fourth heart attack and is in a vegetable state. He is currently hooked up to a respirator and has more tubes coming in and out of his body than you can imagine. These kinds of situations exist in every hospital, and this to some people is okay. To me this is not okay, and for years physicians have prohibited this idea until one man named Dr. Kevorkian gained the worlds attention while helping suffering patients put an end to their pain. Believing that individuals have a right to make life and death decisions without the governments interference is one argument that I stand strong toward. Another may also say that there families are also in mourning, and do not like to see there loved ones in a bad condition no matter the agony they may face once the person has left them. Not only is this inhumane but, unethical to continue a life that its only wish is to die and end their suffering. However others may see it differently such as a man named Dr. Myerson says the “Doctors are simply agents or angels of Death”. I believe that to keep a human being alive if they are telling you they no longer want to live is an indescribable pain to me. If cure is impossible then there should be no reason for a physician to assist a patient in death.

To say that a human being cant have control of there own lives because its illegal, is not a decision that should be made by anyone else but the patient. To really get an insight to this debate is to know what physician assisted suicide is. The pure definition of physician-assisted suicide, according to the University of Washington School of Medicine is, "a physician providing the means for death, most often with a prescription, in which the patient administers the medication.” This clearly states that the patient must ask to receive this medical attention, the Physician can not make the decision. Does this mean that our people are against ethics, and against the right to die? For one second put yourself in that Doctor office, you just got diagnosed with a incurable illness. Your only choice that can be made is lie there and wait it out. Medication and assistance will be provided but will you be the same again? That’s it, the one and only choice. Choices are made everyday thousands of times and having no say toward your own body because theirs only one path to go down while in this stage is simply unmanageable. No law should be against the right to die. Physician assisted suicide would give each patient the right to make there own decision and choice. The law in Oregon has strict guidelines as said by Dr, Hartman “A mentally competent adult suffering from terminal illness likely to result in death in 6 months may choose to receive a lethal dose of medication, after consulting two doctors and waiting 15 days.” This ensures no mistakes will be made and to ensure the patient is positive on their decision. As said since I was born, life is the most precious gift of all, and no person wants to part with it, but there are some circumstances where life has lost its value and the person is eager to no longer live.

Although some people may object that physician assisted suicide is something that is very selfish because a reason to live is suppose to be to cherish the time with your family . This can be debated, a time with your families and your possible date is never really known, a Doctor can tell a patient you will live for 6 more months, this is said to be a estimate of day you may die. What seems to be sugar coated is what will happen within these 6 months. A terminally ill patient once diagnosis, will never be exactly the same. In my experience I have witnessed a family member go through a illness that has no cure. Her Doctor told her she will live for 5 more months, she happened to live for 5 more long years. This may seem as a miracle, but to her it was nightmare, she had to put a strong face on for her family and show that she was okay. Inside she was in misery for the simple fact she no longer wanted to go through these process and have constant annoying tubes and doctor appointments that no matter what she had to go through her life would never be the same. This is proof of strong unselfish human being who simply wants to start new and cant, because there’s no other way. The view that may states the time given to you is supposed to be cherished are those with religions, and believe god will take you when he wants to. This is why whenever this subject is brought up a conclusion can never be made. For the rest, there worried about the ones they cherish in suffering and pain, also the expense to keep this unwilling person alive. Once insurance can no longer cover the cost of keeping them alive bills will be filing in. This is an unnecessary cost of prolonging a life that wants to be freed. Everyone goes through this financially and emotionally, its never a joy for family and friends to see anyone they love in discomfort. Physician assisted suicide could be the solution, if the patient no longer wants to live they may choose to do so and be assisted to there new beginning.

Its’ often said that Physician assisted suicide is murder or man slaughter, its unethical and inhuman. However murder is something done out of hate and spite; Physician assisted suicide is done to help the person be relived of their pain. Dr.meyerson is right about “ people with a disability value their lives ands people without a disability value the lives of a disabled.” on the other hand, he also states that “ the majority are not pain related” Yet he overlooks what I consider an important point, he is stating that certain disabled humans are simply unhappy and that to be assisted you don’t have to be ill just unhappy. This is untrue a physician can only assist if you are mentally competent yet terminally ill. This is a perfect example of a fallacy labeled as a slippery slope. He seems to have overlooked the real rules of this law. As Dr.Kevorikan says “ I cant treat you for depression, only can I send you with resources to help.” This shows that just because a typical human being is having a bad year you can not be assisted to death. There must be a real problem or issue, where Meyerson may also be failing to see.

Dying with dignity is a main issue that is always brought up when trying to win this debate. A person’s last months of life should not be evolved around suffering from severe physical and mental pain; being dependent on others for nutrition, hydration, and hygiene; and experiencing bad vision, hearing, and mobility. Family members, relatives, and friends should not have to see the deterioration and suffering of a loved one. The last impressions of a loved one should be filled with joy and respect. On the other hand, there are several people who can disagree with this argument. They disagree for the simple fact that the may see dignity as something else, something that someone can only have when they are alive and with loved ones. This is also true for the other side dignity is something to keep, something no one can live without and when your in a condition where you can no longer function yourself and must rely on others. What dignity is left? None, the only way I see dignity falling with you when you die is that you die happy and with all the support of family and the world around you.

Clearly, far too many people suffer laying in hospital beds wishing for an answer to there problems, they simply feel there life is well spent and no longer want to continue down this path of pain but to start a new one. A clear example of physician assistant suicide in action is the Oregon’s death with dignity act, they made it legal on “Sunday, June 21st 1992”. “Since December 31st 2000 they have had seventy reported cases utilizing the law to end there lives”. Now America has a model for what can come out of legalizing physician assisted suicide. This action is simply a choice nothing that a patient will never be pushed into. So do you still think its okay for families to suffer emotional and financially, or to not have control of you own body? To Dr. Hartman, Dr. Kevorkian and I all think that patient has this right, therefore physician assisted suicide should be made legal.

Works cited

Hartman, Lawrence, and Arthur Meyerson. "A Debate on Physician-Assisted Suicide -- Hartmann and Meyerson 49 (11): 1468 -- Psychiatr Serv." Psychiatric Services. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <>.

Unknown. "Physician-assisted Suicide Does Not Increase Severity Of Depression, Grief Among Family Members, Study Finds." Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. Web. 18 Oct. 2011. <>.

You Dont Know Jack. Dir. Berry Levision. Perf. Al Pacino, Susan Saraandon, Danny Huston,Brenda Vaccaro,JOhn Goodman. Web.

Levin, Martin. "PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE: LEGALITY AND MORALITY | Levin Papantonio Law Firm." Florida Personal Injury Lawyers | Pensacola Product Liability Attorneys | Levin Papantonio Law Firm. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <>.

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