Essay Preview: Assisted Suicide
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February 27, 2012
Dealing with a painful and a long terminal illness is hard on everyone involved especially the person whom this is happening to. Susan Wolfs article, “Confronting Physician-Assisted suicide and Euthanasia: My Fathers Death”, was very emotional and expressed the changes a dying person makes as the pain and all the treatments become too much to handle, especially when it is determined nothing else can be done. If this had been one of my parents, I would have dealt with the situation the same way that Susan Wolf did. I had an aunt that suffered with colon cancer and I agree that the most important thing to do is to keep the person comfortable and do only medical procedures that will help make them comfortable to the end. But I still believe in Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.
Death with dignity is also an area that needs to be addressed. When an individual becomes ill or they have devastating physical problems to endure, dignity becomes a thing of the past. There are other ways to end your life with some dignity, if you do not choose assisted suicide or euthanasia, is to have a living will. This is a decision not to have life sustaining treatments. Usually, this has been discussed with the family because the person does not want to live a life that does not have meaning.
The definition for assisted suicide is: The deliberate hastening of death by a terminally ill patient with assistance from a doctor, family member, or another individual (Medical Dictionary, 2011). The method provided to the patient may be drugs or equipment to end their own life. Assisted suicide is legal in three American states: Oregon, Washington and Montana. In the world, there are three countries that have legalized both assisted suicide and euthanasia they are: Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Euthanasia is the “inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful” There are four types of euthanasia: voluntary and direct is when it is chosen and carried out by the patient, voluntary but indirect is chosen in advance, direct but involuntary is done for the patient without his or her request and Indirect and involuntary occurs when a hospital decides that it is time to remove life support (Fletcher, 1981).
There are many pros and cons to the subject of assisted suicide and euthanasia. The laws are created to protect the patient from abuse and from unethical doctors and other people. The laws are not there to made people suffer in anyway. When looking at assisted suicide and euthanasia, you realize it is not a private act. The patient is unable to obtain the necessary drugs or materials by themselves. It involves one person facilitating the death of another. This is a concern because it can lead to abuse, exploitation and erosion of care for patients.
The argument for assisted suicide and euthanasia is that the medical cost can be reduced which could give the family more in the estate. The time the nurses and doctors spend with this patient could be spent with other patients. The anguish of watching a family member dye would be lessened and the family could all say their goodbyes. Most important is the dignity of the patient. The family and friends do not have to see their loved one become frail and helpless.
The cons are that assisted suicide and euthanasia violate the Hippocratic Oath for doctors and medical personal. Doctors