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Physician Assisted Suicide for the Terminally Ill - Research Paper Example

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Name of author: Physician Assisted Suicide for the Terminally Ill Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) and Euthanasia or Mercy killing are some of the highly controversial topics in the contemporary societies in America and in other parts of the world. Even though the major objective remains the same, PAS and Euthanasia are implemented differently…
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Physician Assisted Suicide for the Terminally Ill

Download file to see previous pages... On the other hand, euthanasia is a type of killing which is normally performed without taking the permission of the patient. In the case of euthanasia, the doctor kills the patient based on the instructions from the closest relatives of the patient because of the inability of the patient in taking sound decisions and conveying that decisions to the doctor. Even though PAS is legally permitted in three American states such as Oregon, Washington and Montana, euthanasia is not permitted in any of the states in America. Even though the efforts to legalize PAS in different American states have started in the first half of the twentieth century, none of those efforts found success because of various reasons. However, American courts started to allow PAS during the latter parts of the twentieth century. Oregon was the first American state which legalized PAS in 1998; followed by Washington in 2008 and Montana in 2009. This paper analyses the controversies, legal battles and different dimensions associated with PAS. “In the late 80s Dr. Jack Kevorkian built a machine that helped people to commit suicide by giving them a narcotic followed by a lethal dose of potassium chloride. This machine enables disabled suicide candidates to kill themselves at the mere touch of a button” (Jack Kevorkian). Dr. ...
Dr. Jack challenged the criminal justice system in America. The criminal justice system failed to take any actions against Dr. Jack, since he had no direct role in killing the patients. The patients themselves operated the machine and committed suicide. In other words, the doctor was responsible only for performing passive euthanasia1. “However, in 1998, Dr. Jack crossed all the limits and performed an active euthanasia2 for which the court sentenced him 10 to 25 years in prison”(Jack Kevorkian). Dr Timothy Quill also admitted that he has performed a PAS in early 1990’s in New York. His patient was a female leukaemia patient who pleaded for PAS because of her concerns about dying in pain or incompetent. After vigorous analysis of this case, the court decided not to punish Dr Timothy Quill (Gross). According to Dr. Quill, the care for dying patients is part of medical profession. In his opinion, what is important is the success of the doctor remains in how well he is able to help the patient to get rid of pain, discomfort and agony. He argued that stopping further treatment or allowing the patient to accept death in dignity has nothing to with the violation of medical ethics. The names of Karen Ann Quinlan, Terry Sciavo, and Nancy Cruzan cannot be forgotten when we analyse the cases with respect to the right to die. Karen forced to sustain her life for a longer period in ventilator care even though the hope for survival was zero percentage. Her parents asked the hospital authorities to remove ventilator care and further treatment to allow her die. However, the hospital refused to do so and the relatives of Karen approached the court. The court declared in favour of Karen’s parents ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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