The Reasons Why Should Assisted Suicide Be Legal

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Life or death is a choice sacred to each. When a person chooses to die, he typically goes through with it. In Oregon and Washington, physician-assisted suicide is legal. This is the act of administering a lethal dose of medicine to a terminally ill patient. Assisted suicide is considered morally wrong as it demeans the life of a patient. The practice is not meant to get rid of people but is meant to end the suffering of patients. Speculations of overuse may become prevalent when patients begin to die more than often. If physician-assisted suicide is legalized many patients would have their own choice to end their suffering; however; death would be so much more glorified. So should assisted suicide be legal ?

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In society around the world, many people with disabilities can function quite well. Regardless of their conditions, many people with a type of “disadvantage” feel less than or a burden to others. By legalizing assisted suicide medical centers are posing a question: “Does the practice imply it is better to be dead than have a disability,” said a student editor from Penn State. The statement alone can become a controversy. In today’s world, people can quickly criticize someone for being suicidal. Some people have issues, and others are just dissatisfied with life. The purpose of assisted suicide is to alleviate terminally ill patients, but it could introduce a quick route to death for some. Doctors and nurses are to care for ill patients, but they cannot when administering a lethal dose of medicine. This conundrum poses a threat to many doctors. The practice is only legal in a small number of states and is malpractice. Judgment from each medical association examined as well as the patients. Everyone involved is accountable for tests and examinations. A terminally ill patient may want to receive a dosage, but they can easily back out by realizing they can recover. The quality of a person’s life is sometimes unknown and can change quickly.

How is research on illnesses and diseases affected by premature death? Doctors and physicians around the world are continually trying to find cures for diseases. Cancer, Crohn's disease, the Ebola virus, and AIDS/HIV all have no known cure. The conditions co-exist along with medications but treatments only aid so much. If someone decides to end their life prematurely, it could potentially halt research on that disease. Research on regular medical practice can benefit both the patient and physicians. Consent is needed, but with active participation, significant groundwork can arise throughout treatment. With treatment and care, doctors can study patients to find out how they can alleviate their pain and suffering and possibly discover a solution. However: when new diseases arise it can be difficult for a doctor to come up with a report. Situations such as these can lead both parties to become discouraged until a patient goes to someone familiar with the complication. Even then a cure could still be nowhere in sight. By seizing the course of a disease, a doctor is no longer able to study what it can amount to and its effects on the human body.

Across the United States, nursing homes and hospitals allow patients to decline treatment and die carefully in the comfort of expert control. It is the standard in medical care to allow a person to decline medical treatment past resuscitation. Patients can control their care and make decisions over their care. Mark O’Rourke says the cases that plead for strict action and “nothing can be done except suicide,” (O’Rourke) are cases when the patient and the clinician see that “assisted suicide is needed as a last resort.” In hospitals and treatment centers similar to patients are given exceptional mental and emotional support along with compliance to their final decision.

On the contrary, some older men and women are unable to make the correct call for themselves. As time goes on, our grandparents slowly lose the capacity to make “sound” decisions. Doctors can abuse their power; however, repercussions will be in place. An unethical doctor will possibly help others take their own lives, but not for the right reasons. The physician-assisted suicide practice is frowned upon because it is demeaning, and against many religions. Life is solely up to God in these terms, and a person's purpose loses meaning. The easy route is impeding life's final destination. It is improper to accompany death before it's proper time.

A patient must be able to rightfully chose their final destination. The argument could be the same for abortion. The patient, or mother, in this case, has the final say on what they believe to be true. The option to choose is in different places around the world including Oregon, California, Vermont, Montana, and even Washington D.C. In Oregon, the willing doctor must be a Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Osteopathy. In Montana, the option is only available via court decision. Within the confines of Colorado, a patient is eligible if he has less than six months to live. To ensure safety, the patient must sign and date requests. Evaluations are done to protect the doctors from legal action. Derek Humphry said 'Quality of life judgments are private and personal,' hence only the victim can make the final decision. In 1998, a pathologist credited with “murder charges” against his victim said Death with Dignity. The patient’s Lou Gehrig’s disease made the pathologist's killing justified. This course of action set an example for many doctors to come. Regardless of someone’s intentions, a doctor's altered prognosis may occur.

Why do some people choose assisted suicide? For many, the desire to die would depend on their values, behaviors, and symptoms. As we age our bodies grow old and our bones shrink. Pain becomes much more apparent, and it is stressful for everyone. The most straightforward problems in a body can cause discomfort for many years to come. Personally, my grandmother bears the problem of pain in her feet. She has owned this problem for almost ten years, and she was forced to stop going to church. The medicine does not seem to work anymore as she continually complains. Not many men or women wish for prolonged life of pain, and we could consider their individual choice. The choice was based off a selection of patients who are mentally competent and are indefinitely in pain. People with cancer generally undergo chemotherapy and rehab to recover. This process comes in cycles and can last a few weeks or months depending on the severity. Every now and again cancer comes back to its host and can be in a different area of the body. Cancer recurrence often shocks its victims and should be discussed with a doctor. Medicine has allowed doctors to relieve pain in the body, but it has not been able to overrule it completely.

In 2016 around Oregon, “204 people received a death prescription, but only 133 of them went through with it,” said Kirsten Weir. The option allows each person to let go and move on with it without forcing anything upon the individual. “Can life still be considered meaningful given acceptable support and resources?” Life loses its meaning when given an “automatic” ending. Patients must consider this and speak with friends and family. While someone might receive backlash from family members, they can be a crucial part of the decision. Religion may be a huge part of someone’s life, and that individual can no longer go through with the practice. Doctors must attend to each patient's needs with care. Abuse of power might arise, but it is crucial that doctors and nurses compromise a limit to the service and its users. A limit could be an age limit or a screening process. These go a long way in determining the patients with a stable mental capacity.

In most cases of terminal illnesses, medicine can only alleviate pain and not completely remove it. The choice of assisted suicide is available to patients who are indefinitely going to pass but could be entirely up to them. A society shall respect a patient’s decision to end their own life as it already does with the ability to decline resuscitation. Problems may arise in the sectors of abusement, empathy, and legal matters. As of now, in most states, it is legal for doctors to administer anyone a lethal measure. Besides prosecution, doctors would most definitely face backlash for unsolicited consent. A big side of the issue is religion. In many religions, suicide is considered immoral and wrong. Anybody strongly associated with their religion would likely change positions. 

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