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Why Physical Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal

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With increasing people being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, there is an increase in the number of patients who try to seek out a way to get rid of or fix their illness. Doctors use experimental medications for some, while the others are told about the few months they have, to live. However, doctors also have an option of Physician Assisted Suicide. The definition of assisted suicide is: A physician providing medications or other means to a patient with the understanding that the patient intends to use them to commit suicide. Assisted Suicide has throughout history caused controversy among the society. This issue has two sides, one that passionately supports it and the other that disagrees with it. I think Physician-Assisted Suicide is a practical solution to the problem of terminally ill patients, and hence should be legal.

Most of the people get confused between Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. There is a thin line of difference between the two. Euthanasia is when the physician takes an active role in carrying out the patient’s request, which usually involves intravenous delivery of a lethal injection or by withdrawing the ventilator support. Physician-assisted suicide seems easier emotionally for the physician than euthanasia as they don’t have to directly cause a death. While Physician-assisted suicide has a benefit of allowing the patient to figure the time of death, it still does carry the risk of error, and the process needs to be completed while the patient is still well enough to swallow and metabolically absorb these drugs. However, Euthanasia has a much smaller chance for mistakes as it is assisted by the physician and is necessary in cases where a patient is too sick for self-administration or is no longer capable of swallowing or absorbing oral medication.

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The next question which arises is that why do patients request Physician Assisted Death when it may carry a risk of error? The answer is simple, they believe that being alive is pointless. They feel weak, tired and uncomfortable all the time. They also might be going through, depression or socioeconomic stressors about being a burden to their family members economically and mentally. An article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on 22 August 2002, which talks about the ‘Experiences of Oregon Nurses and Social Workers with Hospice Patients Who Requested Assistance with Suicide.’ The article stated that “According to the hospice nurses, the most important reasons for requesting assistance with suicide, among patients, was the desire to control the circumstances of their death, a desire to die at home and the pain and fear of pain. Depression and other psychiatric disorders, lack of social support and other physical symptoms, such as fatigue and dyspnea, were reported to be only moderately important reasons for the request. Seventy-seven percent of the nurses reported that patients who received prescriptions for lethal medications were more fearful of loss of control over the circumstances of death, whereas 8 percent reported that such patients were less fearful than other hospice patients. Sixty-two percent of the nurses said that patients who received prescriptions for lethal medications were more likely to be concerned about loss of independence, whereas 9 percent said that such patients were less concerned about loss of independence than were other hospice patients. Only 15 percent of the nurses, however, reported that the patient had more pain, on average, than other hospice patients.”

As mentioned before, assisted suicide has led to a lot of controversy. There are a bunch of people against the idea of making Physician Assisted Suicide legal. They argue that authorizing suicide as a ‘choice’ for some people soon ends up pressurizing them ‘to do the right thing’ that is to kill themselves. This undermines the willingness of doctors and the society to show compassion and address the pain and other problems the patients suffering from. So, they believe that the only solution is, to take care of the people and to assure them that they are not a burden and it is a privilege to care of them as long as they live.

On the other hand, the people who support the idea of legalizing assisted suicide argue that the right to die should be a matter of personal choice. Because if one was able to make all types of decisions throughout their life – from selecting friends to deciding what kind of work they want to do, then they should also have the right to make a choice, whether they have a terminal illness or not, to end their life. The second argument between the two groups is regarding financial motivations. Some people question the motives of the insurers that whether they will do the right thing or not.

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Why Physical Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-physical-assisted-suicide-should-be-legal/
“Why Physical Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/why-physical-assisted-suicide-should-be-legal/
Why Physical Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-physical-assisted-suicide-should-be-legal/> [Accessed 30 Jan. 2023].
Why Physical Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Jan 30]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-physical-assisted-suicide-should-be-legal/
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