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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Physician Assisted Suicide Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1715 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Physician assisted-suicide is a personal decision which helps end a sufferings life. Physician assisted-suicide can affect a family physically and mentally. Physician-assisted suicide is the most common type of assisted suicide. Physician assisted-suicide or euthanasia describes any case in which a doctor gives a patient the means to carry out their own suicide. This medical procedure is most commonly carried out on people with terminal illnesses. Physician assisted-suicide is a controversial issue worldwide. Physician assisted-suicide has both pros and cons. When a person is suffering from aterminal illness they are already physically suffering, and should have the right to decide how they want to die. A terminal illness is where either way the person is going to die in a certain amount of time and cant control it. However, physician assisted-suicide is illegal in 47 states, therefore there has to be some type of problem. Physician assisted-suicide should be legal for the people who are already suffering from terminal illnesses. They should not have to suffer anymore. Physician assisted-suicide is necessary in order to put human rights in place.

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Physician assisted-suicide has many disadvantages. Physician assisted-suicide has many disadvantages because in some states it is not legal and therefore if a physician goes through with the practice the physician will loose their license and can face getting sued. This has happened a few times and is a major problem. Washington and Oregon are currently the only states that permit physician-assisted suicide. Some physicians are not ok with aiding patients in dying, but that is normally not the problem. In source 3 by Reyes B.J, it states that Senate bill 803 prohibits mercy killings, lethal injections, and active euthanasia, and requires patients to receive informed consent. This explains that if a physician or doctor under any circumstances attempts to perform the suicide in states that it is not legal in, then there will be serious legal consequences. The Senate bill 803 protects the act of physician assisted- suicide.

Although many people have their doubts about physician assisted-suicide there are many advantages of physician assisted-suicide. One positive thing about physician assisted-suicide is that physician assisted-suicide gives you the right to decide how you would like to die. In source 4 written by Lee M and Alexander Stingl he discusses the “Right to die debate”. The ‘Right to die Debate” discusses whether or not people should have the right to die how they want. Many people could argue this because many people have different opinions on this personal issue. This is important because dying is considered a human right. Also ODDA (Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act) permits physicians to assist terminally ill patients to end their own lives by writing prescriptions for lethal doses of medication. This means that in the United States, suicide, is no longer against the law. However Physician assisted-suicide still is not legal all throughout the United States. This is because instead of just the individual taking their own life someone else is involved, this makes the issue more complicated because there are legal actions that have to be put in place if anything happens that isn’t supposed to.

On the other hand physician assisted-suicide impacts some people differently. For example physician assisted-suicide is against the teachings of many religions, such as Catholicism, and some people feel as if it is unfair and unnecessary and against human morals. It is against some religions because physician assisted-suicide is not mentioned in religious readings for example the bible, and God does not believe in physician assisted-suicide. John Pearson writes about how legalizing physician assisted-suicide is unnecessary and painful, both physically and emotionally. If suicide was right then it would have been discovered throughout the ages by the great thinkers in law, ethics, and philosophy. If suicide was right it would have been mentioned in the bible and that’s the reason that it is not classified as “necessary” and why people think it is against certain religions.

The term Euthanasia was taken from the Greek word “easy death”. This is because it provides a quick and painless death. In some scenarios physician assisted-suicide is best. One example of a scenario where physician assisted-suicide was best, was for Sandra Wiener. This 64 year old woman was lucky to die how she wanted. This particular woman prepared for her own death. Her physician described physician assisted-suicide as an unmentionable, intensely private procedure. Even though the 64 year old knew that what was being done was illegal at the time, her physician still carried out with the procedure. Doing this, she was committing a class E felony. However, it was best for Sandra Wiener, because she was terminally ill and suffering.

In the eyes of the law, there have only been 3 acceptable ways involved with taking a life. Killing in self-defense, killing in war, and in the case of capital punishment. Physician assisted-suicide has never been looked upon as “right”. Many persons who want to legalize assisted suicide probably never looked at the risks that could happen if assisted suicide is legalized. If assisted suicide was legal fifty years ago, we wouldn’t have some of the advancements that control pain, nausea, breathlessness and other terminal symptoms, today. Not only that but the money which is obtained from patients that spend a lot on medicine and hospital bills would cease to exist if physician assisted-suicide was legal Some diseases that were terminal a few years ago are cured by newly developed treatments. If we accept assisted suicide now, we might delay the discovery of effective treatments for those diseases that are now terminal. What about the already corrupt society of America? Today’s citizens might not be as honorable as one might wish when it comes to collecting on insurance policies and wills. With assisted suicide legalized, how would one regard the suspicious death of a terminally ill individual within the family? Physician-assisted suicide is a term often used to describe the provisions of the ODDA (Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act) although actions taken within the law do not constitute suicide, physician assisted-suicide, or mercy killing or homicide. Many groups that advocate for the rights of the disabled are against the legalization of physician assisted-suicide. This is because their objection stems largely from what they see as a history of medical discrimination against the disabled particularly the disabled poor. They support a group called “Not dead yet”. This group is largely against physician assisted-suicide.

In the article written by Ann Jackson, she explains the positive outcomes of physician assisted-suicide. In 1997 there was a repeal effort. This repeal effort was to make the ODDA( Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act) effective. In 1998 the act was successfully effective. This was important because this act allowed a terminally-ill resident of the state to ask his or her doctor for a prescription of life-ending medication. This was positive because it allowed terminally ill patients to end their lives without suffering for any longer.

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With the technology and advancements in medicine today, who is to say that a person’s illness couldn’t be cured within the next few months or in the near future. Why end a persons life when you never know what could be in store for them. There is always that possibility of a cure coming out before it is too late. There is always that chance. How can someone else know if another person is really experiencing unbearable pain and suffering? Who gets to be the one to decide or to tell another that their life isn’t worth living? The fact is that nobody should be able to dictate what one shall do. People should be responsible for making their own decisions, and if they no longer feel that their decision is right, they have no one else to blame but themselves. They can’t blame it on their physician if they do decide that they want to take their own life. Physician assisted- suicide is a very personal decision that should be carefully thought about.

Physician-assisted suicide is not taken lightly. This is a very serious medical matter. There are many rules and regulations regarding this medical procedure. Many wavers and consent forms have to be signed and notarized before undergoing this medical procedure. This medical procedure is a positive procedure for most families who feel as if their loved one is suffering, or has been suffering for to long. To ensure that the patient receives full trust within the doctor there is an oath. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by doctors which ensures that they swear to practice medicine ethically. This ensures that the physician or doctors prescribing the patient with the lethal medicine which kills them, understands what they are doing and ensures that they are doing it correctly. This oath is like a backup consent. If the doctors or physicians are not abiding by this oath they can face serious consequences which could make them loose their medical license and even be sentenced to face many years in jail. In source 5 written by Andrew Walter he mentions that the Hippocratic Oath protects the patients when undergoing this medical procedure, Andrew Walter is very true when stating this because it protects the patients and the patients understand what is going to happen during a normal procedure.

Overall physician assisted-suicide has both its advantages and disadvantages. Some people believe that physician assisted-suicide is morally wrong and unnecessary, but on the other hand some people think it is the best thing to do and is necessary to move on in life. Either way physician assisted-suicide is a controversial issue and has caused many issues over time. Currently physician assisted suicide is only legal in 3 states and Hawaii is still trying to make it legal as the fourth state.


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