Physician assisted suicide Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1770 words and 7 pages.

Physician assisted suicide

The Effects of Assisted Suicide Legalization

While slowly experiencing an eventual death, the pain of a life-threatening
disease is unbearable. The constant anguish of a helpless cancer patient, Richard, is
driving away all sanity. As he lies there on the hospital bed near his family, Richard
finally makes a grave decision. He decides to call upon a physician to end his pain.
The doctor would give him medication which would lead to an inevitable death. As he
knows he is going to die within a few weeks anyway, Richard questions the doctor
about the medication. "Just give me the word, and I will hand it over to you," the
doctor says. "Let me add, however, that even though it may be an option, do you think
it is morally right?" The doctor is obviously an honest, noble man who gives all of his
patients his sincere opinion. That, in most cases, is not common in a doctor's
character. Richard is left with those words from the doctor and given time to talk
about the situation with his family. After a long discussion, they realize that life is a
privilege and should not be taken by choice, no matter how intense the pain is. Weeks
later, at Richard's funeral, the family feels proud of him for enduring the agonizing
experience and to die naturally. The choice of physician assisted suicide may be an
irrelevant issue to some, but when it comes to terminally ill patients, it is definitely an
observable option. These people must realize that taking a life, whether someone
else's or their own, is dishonorable. Assisted suicide should be against the law in all
states because it would have an affect on medical procedures, persuade doctors to
make the wrong decisions, and change the morality of people around the country.
The people of this country are partially represented by the United States
Supreme Court. In fact, the United States Supreme Court is going to become the final
judge of this important issue because two United States Court of Appeals decisions
have recently ruled laws forbidding physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional (Court
1). There is no doubt that the effect of the speculations by the highest court in this
country on physician-assisted suicide will be as important as anyone has witnessed in a
long while. Physician-assisted suicide is one of the most controversial medical issues
there is. Although a recent poll shows that 64 to 73 percent of Americans believe
doctors should be admitted to end the lives of terminally ill patients under their
permission, Americans may not realize what could actually happen if
physician-assisted suicide becomes legal in all states (Solomon 1). Not long ago, the
American Medical Association voted strongly against physician-assisted suicide
(Bergen 2). This decision is definitely a standing argument for all ethical Americans.
Thousands of years of medical and moral tradition claiming that suicide is immoral
show that the courts of the United States will most likely rule against assisted suicide
because it would be a corrupt law. Whenever cases of physician-assisted suicide take
place, they take a while to transact with. In America's history, long cases, such as
legalizing assisted suicide, usually make bad laws.
The opposition, Americans who are trying to speak on behalf of the legalization
of assisted suicide, realize that it may be a long case, but they feel as if fighting for it is
worth their purpose. The "right-to-die" movement affirmed that death is sometimes an
acceptable alternative to continued medical treatment. They believe that under certain
exceptional conditions, a suffering patient may be suitable in wanting to end his life,
and there is no logical explanation why he should not be able to seek the aid of a
physician. However, the New England Journal of Medicine shows that thousands of
physician-assisted suicides are undertaken because of family requests, not the patient's.
Also, because individual self-boldness is so highly appreciated in our uplifting culture,
the effort made to defend assisted suicide usually starts with a plead to the principle of
freedom (Bahamonde 1). Supporters argue that decisions about the end of life are
among the most personal issues that anyone will ever face, that no one can possibly be
more qualified than that person to make such a decision. Also, the individual should
have the freedom to decide when the consequence of further suffering exceeds the
benefits of longer life (4). Supporters urge everyone that they do care about the
patient, and there is nothing more important than giving that patient a choice of
whether they should be able to carry on. They believe that the doctor will be affected
after the first doing; that will also help them in the future to share their open opinion
with any patient that is contemplating on this procedure. However, neither the doctor
nor the patient's family should be affected in a commendable way after something like
this.
Legalizing physician-assisted suicide may also alter the way the nation thinks
about suicide as well as the patient's family in a bad way. It may look like an
illegitimate issue at first, but it may slowly become accepted like many other issues.
After a period of time, people may see it as something depressed people do just as ill
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