Do you believe that a person that helps another person to commit suicide is a criminal? Do you? The term Euthanasia means the killing of a terminal ill person by a physician to end his or her suffering or any action taken by a physician to provide death to a patient. Many people argue that the decision to kill oneself is a private choice which society has no right to be concerned about. This position assumes that suicide results from competent people making autonomous, rational decision to die, and then claims that society has no business “interfering” with a freely chosen life or death decision that harms no one other the suicidal person. However, according to experts, who have studied several cases on suicide, the basic assumption is wrong. It is very unlikely that someone with serious disability and terminally ill person commits suicide. A careful 1974 British study, which involved extensive interviews and examination of medical records, found that 93% of those studied who committed suicide were mentally ill at the time.
A similar St. Louis study, published in 1984, found a mental disorder in 94% of those who committed suicide. There is a great body of psychological evidence that those who attempt suicide are normally having conflict feelings and that they are most of time the victims of mental disorder. Almost all of those who attempt suicide do so as a subconscious cry for help, not after a carefully calculated judgement that death would be better than life. A suicide attempt powerfully calls the attention to people who are going through serious and difficult conditions. The humane response is to mobilize psychiatric and social service resources to address the problems that led the potential suicide person to such extremity. Typically, this counseling assistance is successful.
Over the past ten to twenty years a big issue has been made over a person^1 s right to commit suicide or not. The American courts have had to deal with everything from assisted suicides to planned suicides, and whether the constitution gives the American people the right to take their own lives or whether it says they have the power to allow someone else to take their lives. They have had to ...
One study of 886 people who were rescued from attempted suicides found that five year later only 3.84% had gone on to kill themselves. A Swedish study with a 36-year follow-up only 10.9 % later killed themselves. In Netherlands, physician assisting suicide and euthanasia have now become routine in that country, accounting for almost 10% all deaths in 1990. More than half of the people did not ask to be killed. Not only do physicians perform assisted suicide on terminally ill patients, but they also kill newborn infants and hospitalized seniors whose quality of life is judged to be unacceptable. This experience in Netherlands should not serve us as a precedent.
The lesson of physician assisting suicide in that country shows us how quickly the decision moves from a patient’s request to a surrogate’s request to a physician’s personal decision. However, you should be asking yourself, but what about those who are suffering from severe pain and disabilities, shouldn’t we respect their decision to die? Keep in mind, contrary the assumption of many in the public, a scientific study of people with terminal illness in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that fewer than one out of four patients expressed a wish to die, and those who did had diagnosable depression. In addition, contrary to pro-euthanasia propaganda, physical pain, with rare exceptions, can be controlled if the physician knows the appropriate treatment. Even Dr. Pieter, a leader of the successful movement to legalize direct killing in the Netherlands, has publicly observed that pain is never an adequate justification for euthanasia in light of current medical techniques that can manage pain in virtually all circumstances. Most people with disabilities will tell you that it is not so much their physical or mental impairment itself that makes their lives difficult but the feelings of loneliness, isolation, hopelessness, despair, uselessness, and the general fear of being a burden to others can be overwhelming.
Weeding Through the Debate: Should Medicinal Marijuana be Legal Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes The debate is hot. Each side has its argument and is ready to fire away with statistics and facts. Should marijuana be legalized for medicinal purposes Is marijuana actually safe for the body Can marijuana really help patients in need of a pain killer There are people who support the ...
In these cases, as with any emotional problem, the standard response should be psychological, family, and spiritual counseling. In brief, physician suicide was originally aimed at killing ill people in intractable pain and whose lives depend on feeding machines. However, the meaning of physician assisted suicide is rapidly being expanded further to include the provision of death to those who agree that life with a disability or illness is not worth living. As in the Netherlands, patients will be subject to euthanasia to spare family members or from the burden of their conditions. For defenders of euthanasia, there are crucial question like: Have those physicians who assisted suicide examined the patient’s records to find out if they have been given adequate pain medications or have they been diagnosed for depression? If patients have made “rational” choices for suicide, are not these physicians assisting them in ethically questionable acts? Don’t physicians who assist suicide help to create an atmosphere of distrust between physicians and patients? For instances, if the physician cannot cure you, will he care for you or will he kill you? It is reasonable to conclude that physicians who are involved in assisting suicide are doing a disservice both to their patients and their profession.