Running Head: ASSISTED SUICIDE
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Assisted suicide is when one person helps another person end their lives. Some may call this murder that is what murder is, when one person kills another. The difference here is that one person is helping another die out of mercy and not malice. An individual has asked another individual to help them end their lives. That is usually not the case with a murder. Most murderers could care less about the wishes of the other person. In the case of assisted suicide, a person has chosen to die rather than live with the pain. This may be hard for some to believe, that there can be any instance where it would be merciful to help another die. The fact remains that there are instances that do happen when this issue comes up. Assisted suicide has been a topic of contentious debate across the United States for years. At the heart of the issue is a complex web of religious, medical, and ethical issues surrounding the value of life and individual freedom, because many people have such strong feelings about these issues, it is difficult for people on different sides of the debate to see each others’ perspectives or reach a compromise. (Mackelprang, 2005)
Most of us are familiar with Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He is a major supporter of the right to die movement. In fact, he may be considered the very face of the movement. He is believed to have assisted over 100 people to meet their end. Because of this he has been persecuted, even forced to spend some time in prison over his actions. Imagine having to spend time in prison for helping someone achieve a goal that they wanted. Keep in mind that these were terminally ill patients, people that were going to die soon from a disease that they found to be unbearable. It comes down to our views and belief systems and how they combine to give us the rules and regulations that we live by. Most of us view life as a gift, or something precious and this belief then clouds our judgment to any contradicting situation. Just because one person feels fine and happy with their life, does not mean that it is that way for us all. Whether or not one person can empathize with another is very different from having to walk a mile in their shoes. (Mackelprang, 2005) Most of us cannot begin to imagine what constant pain feels like let alone feeling that pain on a regular basis. In fact, most of our dealings with pain only last a few seconds or moments. We endure and then think to ourselves, “Wow, that hurt”. Imagine than if that same pain did not last just a few moments. Imagine it lasts for days, or weeks, or years. Most of us would not want to live under such conditions. Ultimately what it comes down to is a basic right to choose. A terminally ill patient should have the right to choose to die. None of us but the person in pain has to endure that one more day. Perhaps the hope of a cure is just not enough to overcome that pain in which they would have to endure for that one more day. It is the day after that, and the day after that. A person equally has the right to choose to endure that pain, clinging to hope until the disease finally takes them.
“The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last.” Quote from one of the prominent writer, Nicholas Sparks, Dear John. I, Azlin Musa, am just your typical definition of high school girl. A girl who ...
That might be the path that some people choose, and that is their right. It is also their right to choose to end the pain. This is what we must come to realize as a society. We have to set aside our hearts and our emotions. In our heart of hearts, we want people to live. We want that last minute discovery that will save the lives of suffering people. We want that miracle of remission. Unfortunately, real people are suffering while our society clings to such hopes. I say again, it is not our right to decide for them. (Mackelprang, 2005) No matter how much hope we have, we are not the ones enduring their illness. Once we come to understand this, than we will realize that it is alright to help another person to die. To help them find peace. Part of this dilemma also has to do with family members. It is difficult to watch someone we love die. We do not want to let them go, so we beg them to hang on. Oblivious to the pain they have to endure while doing that holding on. It is a natural thing to want our loved ones to live, and yet it is selfish at the same time. It is selfish to want someone to live, when they want nothing more than to die. This is one of the driving forces against legalized assisted suicide.
Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide is a hotly debated topic in Michigan today. Dr. Jack Kevorkian has made his life- taking, pain-relieving procedure possible to many elderly people and to others with terminal and painful summer of 1996 because I diseases who want to die with dignity. I was against assisted suicide before the had no life experiences with death. However, in August my grandmother ...
The mere fact that we certainly do not want to let our loved ones go until the last minute. (Mackelprang, 2005)We will come to the realization as a people that there is a time when assisted suicides are necessary. When a terminally ill patient is in so much pain that they beg for death, and we give it to them, the peace that they so long for. We will do this, because we know it will be the right thing to do. We will know it is time, because the patient will let us know that it is their wish. The Bible frowns upon suicide. It is a sin to take your own life or to take another’s life. This stems from the fact that only god gets to choose who lives and who dies. Since, the existence of a god cannot be proved than to argue a point based on religion will not hold water. For the same reason, we tell our children they cannot stay up past a certain time on Christmas Eve, because Santa Claus will not come unless they are in bed. As long as this issue of assisted suicide is approached from this angle, than there will never be a way to truly justify the act.
The only real danger arising from this practice is that it would become hard to distinguish a murder from an assisted suicide. A doctor who performs assisted suicides could murder one of his patience using the same methods, and then claim they were asked to. Our fears about death and dying and the laws, both religious and state, which control the legality of death, are powerful influences on all of us. Staying alive is one of the strongest drives any animal, humans included, has. Living wills have been designed so that in the event of an unexpected disaster, the wishes of the person are known. Who knows what is happening inside the head of someone who has been in a coma for years. In some countries, these elements have been considered and thought through. There are legal controls, and nothing is done without the criteria being covered. A person cannot just be disposed of as a whim. Surely this is a humane way to treat people who have gone as far as they can. For the religious, dying means getting the reward they have worked for during their lifetime, a positive thing surely. (Sunstein, 2007)Bernice Packford is 95 years old, in relatively strong health, and she wants the right to die. Bernice wrote to The Times expressing her desire to choose the time and place of her death and the need to change the criminal code to allow for physician-assisted suicide. Although Bernice is currently in relatively strong health, she has already suffered one stroke and has congenital heart failure. She fears another stroke will leave her conscious but helpless and she does not want that. She wants to die with her family around her while she still has her dignity.
Assisted Suicide Originally, the term physician assisted suicide meant the provision by a physician of the means by which a suffering, terminally ill patient could initiate his or her death. The term euthanasia means the killing of a terminally ill person to end his / her suffering. Now, by practice, the term physician assisted suicide has been broadened in meaning to include the administration of ...
Bernice has discussed her desire with her family, who all understands and supports her decision. Bernice is a member of the Right to Die Network of Canada which is based out of Toronto. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are currently not legal in Canada, but suicide is legal. There are many people who believe in physician-assisted suicide and have joined groups such as the Right To Die Network who lobby government to legalize euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, and there are just as many others, such as religious organizations and Right to Life supporters that believe that humans do not have the right to chose where, when and how they will die. (Torr, 2000) Most people have experienced the joy of having a pet in their family. We love, groom, feed, play and walk them. Then over time, we notice them becoming slower, having less energy, sleeping more and eating less. We realize they are getting older and it makes us sad. We take our pet to the Vet for a check-up and are advised that our pet is not doing so well, possibly due to old age or discovery of a terminal condition. Medication is available to ease our pet’s discomfort, but we know that the time is coming when we will need to make a decision. What is that decision? It is the decision to put our beloved pet to sleep. This is not an unlawful act, and it is seen by most people as being humane and an act of love and unselfishness to release our pet from their pain. The vet who assisted us with euthanasia of our pet is not arrested and he does not lose his veterinary license. We thank him for his assistance and go on with our life, understanding that our pet is now free from pain. (Moreno, 2005) Right to Life campaigner’s fear that if physician-assisted suicide were to become legal, it may become a slippery slope and that minorities, such as people with disabilities may be targeted.
Introduction The history of physician-assisted suicide began to emerge since the ancient time. Historians and ancient philosophers especially had been debating over this issue. Thus, this issue is no longer new to us. However, it seems little vague because it has not yet been fully told. The historical story consists of patterns of thought, advocacy, and interpretation on whether to legalize ...
An example of this is Robert Latimer, who killed his 11 year old daughter Tracey Latimer, who was severely disabled and in persistent pain. Her prognosis was dire, and she would continue to suffer, require operations, and medication to ease her pain. Robert Latimer claimed that he performed a generous killing as he could no longer bear to see his daughter suffer. Although Robert Latimer was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the jury requested leniency as they had sympathy for the accused, after being advised that Tracy was in constant pain and her health was never going to improve. (Humphry, 2006) health care costs relating to sustaining life are a financial strain on the health care system and families alike. Medicine is constantly advancing, and doctors now have the ability to postpone death by giving patient’s drugs, feeding them intravenously or hooking them up to machines to assist their bodies in continuing to work. But if you undoubtedly are at the end of your life, what is the purpose of doing this? It won’t reverse the diagnosis you presumably will be in more discomfort or you may even be unconscious, you will be in a hospital with less family support than if you were at home, and the cost to your family and the health care system of keeping you alive will likely be substantial. Most people would prefer to die in their home, surrounded by their loved ones, but if you are seriously ill, you will have to go to hospital so that doctors can monitor you and administer the drugs that will prolong your life. If we are terminally, physically or mentally ill, you may feel that you do not want to live any longer. The prospect of prolonging your life may mean facing a death that will be frightening and painful. We may be in a hospital surrounded by over-worked strangers, only allowed to see loved ones during visiting hours.
... patients die more comfortably and to quell the demand for assisted suicide (Loviglio 1). Hospice care lets the family be more involved in administering health care. ... practice physician assisted suicide. They are picking who lives and who dies. There are many laws concerning physician assisted suicide. Thirty-five states already ban assisted suicide by law ...
We may be conscious but unable to talk. You may be unable to eat, toilet or bathe yourself. The option of having the right to a physician-assisted suicide should be available to anyone who is cognitive at the time of making this decision. No one else is experiencing your pain, fear and loss of dignity. (Ersek, 2005) we should have the right to chose to end your suffering on your own terms, and ease the burden on family and friends who are watching you suffer. Sue Rodriguez was diagnosed with the terminal disease ALS in 1991 and took her case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to fight for her right to a physician-assisted suicide. She asked the judges “Whose body is this?” She failed in her quest to legalize physician-assisted suicide but did open up an ongoing, heated debate on this issue.
One of the few certainties of life is that we are all going to die. What is not certain is how we are going to die. Most people would prefer to die with minimal pain and suffering, but unfortunately, that is not the reality for most of us. But if we could make the decision, while being cognitively aware, to have a physician-assisted suicide, it The huge cost to our health care system involved in prolonging life needs to be a consideration when you know that you are not going to recover. In a cognitive state, most people would not want to be a burden on the health care system or their families. Canadians need to push the government to legalize physician-assisted suicide so that no-one would have to face the fear of experiencing a painful death and loss of dignity, if they did not choose to. (Braun, 2000)
Braun, K. L., ed. , Pietsch, J. H., ed. , & Blanchette, P. L. (Eds.) (2000).. Cultural issues in end-of-life decision making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Pp. 12-35
Burt, Robert A. (2007).
“The Supreme Court Speaks: Not Assisted Suicide but a Constitutional Right to Palliative Care.” New England Journal of Medicine vol. 337 pp. 1234–1236
... Kevorkian performs his first assisted suicide, using a homemade machine, to end the life of Alzheimer's patient Janet ... live. Second: the patient must ask the physician for suicide assistance at least three times, and ... in America 1973- The American Medical Association issues the Patient Bill of Rights. The groundbreaking ... a year, can remove her respirator. She dies nine years later. 1979- Jo Roman, a ...
Ersek, Mary. “Assisted Suicide: Unraveling a complex issue.” Nursing 35.4 (2005): 48. Academic Search Premier.
Gupta, Deepak. “Euthanasia: Issues Implied Within.” Internet Journal of Pain, Symptom Control & Palliative Care 4.2 (2006):2. Academic Search Premier.
Humphry, D., & Wickett, A. (2006).
The right to die. Eugene, OR: The Hemlock Society. Pp. 45-33
Mackelprang, Romel W. “Historical and Contemporary Issues in End-of-Life Decisions: Implications for Social Work.” Social Work 50.4 (2005): 315. Academic Search Premier.
Moreno, J. D. (Ed.).
Arguing euthanasia. Oxford Publishing. Pp. 11-25
Sunstein, Cass. (2007).
“The Right to Die.” Yale Law Journal vol. 106 pp. 1123–1162
Torr, J. D. (2000).
The book of Euthanasia: Opposing viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven. Pp. 11