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Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

632 words - 3 pages

Kim Nason
Mr. Stamper
12 September 2007

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Many people are diagnosed with a terminal illness that put patients in difficult situations. A terminal illness is one that is causing the end of life. Sometimes these illnesses give patients a horrible amount of pain and anguish that could drive them to the decision of death being better than life. Physician-assisted suicide is a common choice for patients who want to escape their terminal illness. In the process of physician-assisted suicide, a physician provides the patient with information or actual ways to terminate their own life. In order to receive this process the patient must be an adult and two doctors must confirm that the patient is diagnosed with an incurable disease. The patient also has to read and sign a written request in front of two witnesses showing that the patient is requesting to terminate their life ...view middle of the document...

If a patient is denied assisted suicide, then they could take matters into their own hands and commit suicide in a very dangerous and horrifying way. Sometimes assisting a terminally ill patient into a safe, more respectable death is a better way than letting a person attempt to kill themselves on their own. Patients who suffer from painful illnesses and depression feel as though there is no point to life anymore. Sometimes even their families feel that death would be a better more peaceful place for their loved one instead of staying in the state of illness. There is always another way of looking at something, and in different situations, there are different ways of taking care of them.
The other side of this issue is the side of disagreement. There are many people who are against physician-assisted suicide as they are against a person committing suicide on their own. If a person attempted to commit suicide, and did not succeed, that person would be checked into a mental hospital and would receive continuous therapy. Since these are the actions of this type of suicide, why are doctors helping others to end their life? Also, patients and the families of the patients may be giving up too quickly. There have been many occurrences of a patient receiving an “expiration date” and living long passed it. Miracles have happened, and a patient could still have a chance at life even after they are diagnosed with an incurable disease.
Many Americans have their own opinions on whether physician-assisted suicide should be legalized. According to The Park Ridge Center for Health, Faith and Ethics, 33% of Americans support the suicide under many different circumstances, 31% opposed the legalization for any reason, and 31% support it under only certain circumstances. The Center also concluded that minorities and people over the age of 55 would more then likely oppose physician-assisted suicide. In 2001 Attorney General John Ashcroft proclaimed that there is no purpose for physician-assisted suicide. Since he issued this order, it caused possible suspension or even revocation of the physician’s license, also including criminal charges.

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