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Physician Assisted SUICIDE

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by

Kayla Combest

on 1 October 2015

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Transcript of Physician Assisted SUICIDE

Should an incurably-ill patient be able to commit physician-assisted suicide?
Tremendous pain and suffering of patients can be saved.
The right to die should be a fundamental freedom of each person.
Patients can die with dignity rather than have the illness reduce them to a shell of their former selves.
Health care costs can be reduced, which would save estates and lower insurance premiums.
Nurse and doctor time can be freed up to work on savable patients.
Prevention of suicide is a violation of religious freedom.
Pain and anguish of the patient's family and friends can be lessened, and they can say their final goodbyes.
Reasons Why People agree
Reasonable laws can be constructed which prevent abuse and still protect the value of human life.
Vital organs can be saved, allowing doctors to save the lives of others.
Without physician assistance, people may commit suicide in a messy, horrifying, and traumatic way.

Protection ,Pro's and Preventions
It would violate doctors' Hippocratic oath.
It demeans the value of human life.
It could open the floodgates to non-critical patient suicides and other abuses.
Many religions prohibit suicide and the intentional killing of others.
Doctors and families may be prompted to give up on recovery much too early.
Government and insurance companies may put undue pressure on doctors to avoid heroic measures or recommend the assisted-suicide procedure.
Miracle cures or recoveries can occur.
Doctors are given too much power, and can be wrong or unethical.

Cons
For years, doctors have been prohibited from assisting patients in taking their own lives. Dr. Jack Kevorkian gained world attention by assisting in several suicides to dying patients; he was sentenced to over 60 years for his efforts, despite the gratitude of the patients and their families. Recent laws in Oregon and the U.K. have started a trend of legalization. But some, most notably the U.S. Attorney General's office, are determined to prevent the laws from going through.
Who is affected by your decision?
Everyone both negatively and positively
Under the law, a competent adult Oregon resident who has been diagnosed, by a physician, with a terminal illness that will kill the patient within six months may request in writing, from his or her physician, a prescription for a lethal dose of medication for the purpose of ending the patient's life. Exercise of the option under this law is voluntary and the patient must initiate the request. Any physician, pharmacist or healthcare provider who has moral objections may refuse to participate.
Resources
http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcam/ethics/suicide.htm
http://www.nbcnews.com/health

A summary of this article is listed at: The practice of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States. [For complete article see JAMA 1998 and search from the JAMA site for the following article: Aug 12;280(6):507-13 entitled .
Since 1998, 1,050 patients in Oregon have requested lethal medication under the law and 673 have died using it. In Washington, 255 have requested the drugs; 241 have died after ingesting them.
Oregon stands as an anomaly. Physician-assisted suicide is a crime in forty-five states, by statute in 39 states and by common law in the remaining six. Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming have no controlling law on physician-assisted suicide.
In addition to Oregon, four states — Michigan, Washington, California, and Maine — have put the issue of physician-assisted suicide to a referendum. In all but Oregon, the practice was rejected by voters. In the Spring of 2002, an effort to authorize the practice in Hawaii was defeated.
How do states other than Oregon treat physician-assisted suicide?
Laws
Facts
By Kayla Combest
A 1998 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association conclusively reports that physician assisted suicide or hastening death is occurring and is not "unheard of" or a "rare" occasion. This report documents cases where the patient wished to die and was assisted by his or her physician to do so.


Dr. Jack Kevorkian brought the idea of assisted suicide to the forefront of public debate in the late 1990s and the public rejected his views. However, a small portion of the public still favors the use of assisted suicide. In some cases, health care workers have unilaterally decided to administer "assisted suicide" to willing or unwilling victims of their philosophy of hastening death. An unwilling suicide is not suicide but rather is labeled murder by the courts. Administering potassium chloride as an agent for causing death was one method popularized by Dr. Jack Kevorkian .
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