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Assisted Suicide - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Class Date Assisted Suicide, the Compassionate Choice Introduction Imagine for a moment lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling and wondering what life would be like if the injury or illness didn’t make you are a prisoner in your own mind…
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Assisted Suicide
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Download file to see previous pages The minutes pass like hours and you’ve been in this condition for three years. Relatives and friends occasionally come by but the visit is brief and filled with only sadness. What are you thinking as the minutes, days, months and years pass? Most, it would seem, would be praying to die wondering why anyone would be allowed to suffer physical and psychological pain endlessly. It is the worst type of torment, one without control or end. If you can speak, no health care worker will hasten death. If you cannot speak you cannot even express your wishes. If you were the family dog, society would have fully condoned that the “humane” option was taken and you were “put to sleep.” Laws that prohibit euthanasia are government mandated torture. The option of euthanasia, or doctor assisted suicide (DAS), strengthens the important doctor/patient relationship, respects an individuals dignity and right of personal autonomy in addition to reducing the suffering of patient, their families and the medical costs to both. Euthanasia is the contraction of Greek words meaning “good death” but too many people die gripped in pain, guilt and humiliation, a bad way to die. It’s shameful for a society to somehow justify the prohibition and criminalization of DAS. Statistics The General Population Those who oppose the concept of legal DAS usually do so based on religious grounds, believing that only God has the right to give and take life. Others claim that because people don’t decide how and when they are born they should not decide how and when they die. They also caution that legalizing euthanasia is a “slippery slope” and could result in an abuse of authority, that people could be euthanized when they don’t really want to die. Opponents to euthanasia are in the minority however, and support for a compassionate death is growing. In 2002, a Harris poll found that sixty-five percent supported legalization of DAS while sixty-one percent supported implementing a variation of Oregon’s Dignity Act enacted in their own state. The Act allows terminally-ill patients to die by self-administrating lethal drugs that were prescribed by a doctor for that specific reason. A series of studies involving patients with a terminal illness revealed at least two-thirds would like to have the option of a DAS. Surveys taken in California during 2005 and 2006 found seven in ten favored the idea that “incurably ill patients have the right to ask for and get life-ending medication.” (Fieser, 2011) Though it didn’t pass, a DAS bill introduced in 2005 to the California State Legislature gained passionate support. The Medical Community Support for legalized euthanasia is also found among those of strong religious faith though not to the degree as the general public and medical community. A 2005 national survey of doctors found fifty-seven percent consider DAS ethical. A Journal of the American Medical Association survey in 2001 found a clear majority support the Dignity Act. Also in 2001, the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that forty-five percent of doctors thought DAS should be lawful and just thirty-four percent opposed. Mental health professionals realize that terminally ill patients can choose to die while mentally competent. A rational person can choose death as an alternative. Many medical groups have determined to adopt a “studied neutrality” stance on the subject of DAS, realizing not all within the medical field agree. (Fieser, 2011) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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