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Serious legal and ethical issues are involved in both PAS and euthanasia because of the immense value associated with human life. Some people believe that PAS and euthanasia should be allowed legally when a person is in a critical state with fewer hopes for survival. On the other hand, many people argue against it citing ethical reasons. In their opinion, only the creator has the right to take one’s life back and granting permission for PAS or euthanasia will result in misuse of such freedom by the relatives of the patients. In America, even though the Supreme Court has not taken a stand in the above issue, states have different statutes with respect to PAS and euthanasia. This paper explains the similarities and differences of the statutes governing physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Jane Roh written on Fox news dated January 17, 2006 about the hot debate going on in America, over the practical, moral and legal issues surrounding assisted suicide even though the Supreme Court in 1997 ruled unanimously against the physician-assisted suicide. She has also mentioned that Supreme Court in 2006 supported the Oregons physician-assisted suicide law which allows terminal patients to seek the services of PAS legally (Roh, 2006). In other words, Supreme Court has not taken a clear stand yet about the legality of allowing PAS and euthanasia. Supreme Court in many instances, pointed out that PAS is not a constitutional right. But it recognized the right of a patient to refuse treatment or taking pain medications “which may indirectly result in hastened death but not involve an intent to take life” (What Is The Current Law Regarding Assisted Suicide?, 1999). In short, Supreme Court doesn’t allow direct and intentional taking of life whereas it keeps a meaningful silence over the issue of unintentional taking of life or issues like PAS and euthanasia. In US, only Oregon State allows PAS whereas all the other states
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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.
There are many patients who lead an agonizing, miserable deathlike life and one needs to keep in mind that physician-assisted suicide is just mercy killing for such troubled patients and the society needs to show them compassion in dying. Similarly, PAS raises questions regarding one’s human rights as it deals with the debate over one’s right-to-die.
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.
Individual prefers that no patient contemplate suicide, but in the recent past there have been improvements to manage pain in patients, which has led to the reduction in the number of patients who seek assisted suicide.
One of these issues that trigger serious debates in different groups is associated with physician-assisted suicide, or euthanasia, which offers an opportunity for another person to assist an affected person in taking away his or her life. This has faced serious objections from various people in the society, while others are in agreement with the decision to have some people assist others in committing suicide based on the conditions that prevail.
The legal counsel and the health care practitioners who are expected to provide advice on this issue have therefore, to have a clear understanding of the legal and ethical implications of the issues that arise for patients at the end of life. This article is medicolegal.
On the other hand, medical experts comment that aiding in the patient's death goes against a physician's duty to preserve life (University of Washington School of Medicine). However, it is said that the four factors judge the decision of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide: level of patient suffering, the extent to which the patient requested death, the age of the patient, and the degree of curability of the illness.
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
ss of getting permission from the patient for a particular treatment after providing enough information about the pros and cons of that treatment to the patient. The core of informed consent is based on ethical and moral grounds. In other words, it is the patient’s right
This usually occurs when the patient does not intend to continue with the treatment to ease the pain. Allowing a patient to die is a situation where the physicians offer all the necessary medication and
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