The debate over physician assisted suicide The question of legalizing physician-assisted suicide has become a highly debated social, political and legal issue in the United States. While Oregon legalized PAS in 1994, hot debates are going on in states such as Indiana regarding its legalization…
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Thus, the campaign in Indiana to get PAS legislation on the ballot should focus on these aspects. One should take into account the possible counter-arguments that could be raised by the opponents of PAS. It should be kept in mind that there are strong oppositions from the part of physicians, legal commentators and sociologists as many hold that physician-assisted suicide is nothing but willful killing. The opponents also may argue that it is more significant to protect and preserve human life. Therefore, it is imperative that the campaign for PAS should postulate that such patients who cannot fulfill social responsibilities and societal expectations would cause social instability and as such, Physical Assisted Suicide can be permitted in exceptional cases where the patient leads a miserable life and has no hope for recovery from the deadly disease or illness. This paper seeks to convince the audience/readers that PAS is worthy of being legalized in Indiana and in doing so the paper throws light on the specific characterizations of Indiana voters as well. It can be identified that the Indiana voters have remained reluctant towards legalizing PAS in the past. The Indiana Code §35-42-1-2.5 ‘prohibits assisted suicide’ by law and it has been brought under the general homicide laws (Legal Status of Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia in the United States). However, the emergence of such controversial cases as Terri Schiavo, Barbara Howee, and Nancy Cruzan has prompted many to rethink of legalizing PAS. Terri Schiavo had to remain in ‘persistent vegetative state’ for 15 years until she was permitted for PAS on March 31, 2005; Barbara Howe was totally paralyzed and breathing with a ventilator for many years; and Nancy Cruzan, an auto accident victim, had also to remain in persistent vegetative state for a number of years (Jost 423). Undoubtedly, anyone who has witnessed the sufferings, misfortune, agony and frustration experienced by these patients as well as their intimate relatives will think in favor of PAS. In this respect, the Oregon's Death with Dignity Act has rightly recognized the personal rights of patients; however, it is quite unfortunate that the Supreme Court ruled that there are no fundamental or constitutional rights that support any arguments in favor of physician-assisted suicide (Park 283). Indiana, too, can follow the example of Oregon if the Indiana voters show empathetic feelings towards the suffering and pathetic persistent vegetative state of many of its brothers and sisters. While PAS is opposed for moral and ethical reasons, it is high time that the Indiana voters realized the factors that favor PAS. One needs to understand that the demand for PAS is strongly rooted in human rights theories and the concept of patient autonomy. PAS can also be regarded as quite ethical and moral as the termination of life occurs at the request of the individual himself when the physician realizes that ‘to continue letting this individual live, would be more harmful than dying’ (Center for Bioethics: University of Minnesota 41). Similarly, there are sound arguments that the patients have the right to die with dignity rather than leading a death-like miserable life. In physician-assisted suicide, the choice to end one’s life rests completely on the patient himself or his/her family. The Indiana voters need to have a thorough understanding of the arguments
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Those against this practice on the other hand state that it is unethical for physicians to help their patients commit suicide when they have taken the Hippocratic oath to protect and preserve the lives of their patients. Both sides of this debate have made some very pertinent arguments in support of their sides and it has been very difficult for many societies and people to come to an understanding concerning this matter.
Indeed, death remains a very sensitive issue in different cultures and socio-cultural backgrounds around the world. Death may be considered a very sad phenomenon or a necessary evil for rest depending on circumstances under which the death occurs. It is this bi-dimensional feeling on death that makes doctor-assisted suicide highly controversial.
In many cases, these patients are bed ridden and their functioning as normal human beings is limited. In countries where assisted suicide is legalized, such as the Netherlands, assisted suicide, upon the request of the patient and times the general consensus of the family, is performed by a physician.
Even after immense advancements in medical science, still we are unable to create an artificial life form in laboratory setup. In other words, the mysteries surrounding life is still remain unresolved. Moreover, according to medical ethics; the primary duty of healthcare professionals is to assist patients in getting rid of their diseases.
According to the paper a number of sources will provide an overview of arguments for and against assisted suicide by analysing evidence from the Netherlands and Oregon where it has been legalized and the argument against euthanasia is that human life is of absolute value. While the main focus of the sources is on the law, they also widely represent moral aspects of the problem.
Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) takes place when a physician, responding to specific request from patients, gives information (for example, a prescription for a fatal dose of sleeping pills), and/or the means (such as a supply of carbon monoxide gas) of
It is termed assisted suicide, automatically assuming all of the implications that the word suicide provides. However, in examining this concept, one can begin to understand that it is not framed appropriately by this type of language, thus
The author states that the most basic reason for suicide, that an individual is miserable and decides to end a life that has become unbearable for reasons that are based upon how they feel within their life, is a type of suicide that cannot be socially supported in Western cultures. According to the essay, men complete suicide more often than wome.
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