Physician Assited Suicide Essay

2169 words - 9 pages

The advancement of technology in the medical field has prolonged the lives of individuals, but certain terminal illnesses lead to inevitable death. Health care team members working in end-of-life care are being faced with the ethical dilemmas introduced by the physician-assisted suicide legalization, also known as the Death with Dignity Act, in the United States (Lachman, 2010). Physician-assisted suicide, or euthanasia in some texts, allows mentally competent, terminally ill individuals, with less than 6 months to live, a choice to self-administer physician prescribed medication, which assists in death (Friend, 2011; Harris, 2014; Lachman, 2010). Although the patient administers the ...view middle of the document...

In 1930, Britain sought for the legalization of euthanasia, but the death camps created by Nazi’s during World War II had created a world-wide opposition to euthanasia (Friend, 2011). In 1980, the Hemlock Society was founded in the United States by Derick Humphry, a British journalist, who modernized the term euthanasia into physician-assisted suicide (Friend, 2011). Humphry built the Hemlock society after watching his first wife die from terminal cancer and believed that “the ultimate civil liberty is the right to choose to die when in advanced terminal or hopeless illness” (Friend, 2011, p. 111). The Hemlock Society evolved over the years, combining with other organizations, to eventually form the Compassion & Choices organization used today (Friend, 2011). Humphry was not the only memorable motivational supporter of legalization of physician-assisted suicide. In the 1990’s, Dr. Jack Kevorkian became nationally known after he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for assisting the terminally ill to die, and relieve their suffering (Friedstein, 2012). The organizations, originating from the Hemlock Society, and Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s “right-to-die,” led way to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon, with the Death with Dignity Act on October 27,1997 (Death with Dignity, n.d.; Friedstein, 2012, ¶ 1; Friend, 2011). Upon reviewing research of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, other states followed Oregon’s example by legalizing physician-assisted suicide: Washington in 2008, Montana in 2009, Vermont in 2013, and New Mexico in 2014 (Compassion & Choices, 2014; Friend, 2011). Hawaii, however, has no law for or against the use of physician-assisted suicide, where the rest of the fifty states currently are awaiting the passage of bills (Compassion & Choices, 2014). With the all fifty states debating the legalization, or accepting legalization of physician-assisted suicide, one must look at the reason such a law would be supported.
The greatest argument in support of physician-assisted suicide is autonomy, or the right of an individual to self-govern and make his or her own decisions (Friend, 2011; Harris, 2014; Lachman, 2010). Individuals have a choice in their health care and treatment options; therefore, should also have a choice in their end-of-life options (Friend, 2011; Harris, 2014). Mary L. Friend, MN, RN (2011) believed that individuals have the right to make a voluntary decision, and ask for help to hasten death when all other options have failed to relieve suffering. The right should be offered to everyone no matter their culture, race, or social economic status. Timothy E. Quill (2012), a physician of palliative care, discovered that of the individuals who opted to end their life, in legal states, all were mentally stable, highly educated Americans, with 97.5 % being Caucasian and 98.7% receiving health insurance. The rights of individuals are the most important factor in legalization of...

Find Another Essay On Physician-Assited Suicide

Assisted Suicide- Facing the End of life with Personhood

1972 words - 8 pages person.References:Betzold,M. (1993). Appointment with Doctor Death. Troy: Momentum Books,Ltd.Prado,C.G. & Taylor,S.J. (1999). Assisted Suicide:Theory andPractice in Elective Death. Amherst: Hummanity Books.Quill, T. (1994). Phyisican-Assited Suicide is Moral. From Death and Dignity. Retrieved February 15,2006, from Thomas GaleDatabase.Rogatz, P. (2004). Physician Assisted Suicide Should be Legal-Ized. Humanist, 61,p.31. Retrieved February 15, 2006

Euthanasia: Escaping Dreadful Destinies Essay

1979 words - 8 pages and Creative Exchange. U of Tennessee Knoxville, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. . Sophocles. "Antigone." Trans. Paul Roche. The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles. By Sophocles. Trans. Paul Roche. New York City: Plume, 1991. 191-252. Print. This source that I am comparing euthanasia to. Yount, Lisa. Physician-Assited Suicide and Euthanasia. New York City: Facts on File, 2000. Print. Library in a Book. This book provides the information about euthanasia's history, imporant figures, and biographical information. It also provides positive and negative opinions on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Evaluation of School Improvement

1403 words - 6 pages The evaluation process should be progressive to incorporate overall planning, implement changes, which contribute to success. In order to focus on school climate and norms, the evaluation design must include the students, instructions, and outcomes to improve communication and building-level concerns to be address in this response. School Climate and Social Norms The school principal, other staff leaders, and personnel set the tone and the

Case Study: The Benefits of Animal Testing

1757 words - 7 pages Nine year old Amy has already had a rough start in life. She was born with an abnormal heart that hinders her everyday activities. Amy is unable to keep up with kids her own age because she often tires out easily. As a consequence, she has very little friends and is often alone. Amy is forced to take different medications everyday just to survive. Amy’s life consists of medicine, doctors, and constant hospital visits. However, Amy is due for a

Similar Essays

Researching Essay

1024 words - 5 pages watching your loved one die slowly. All in all, physician assisted suicide can be considered quite moral, especially to the alternative of a slow painful death. A final topic in which euthanasia should be considered is its effects, which are mostly beneficial upon family, costs, and suffering. Works Cited Jackson, Julia. The Ethics of Euthanasia and Physician Assited Suicide. Diss. University of Tennessee, Print. Pereia, J. "Legalizing

Euthanasia Essay

1717 words - 7 pages euthanasia. Currently, physician assisted suicide is only in Oregon and the Netherlands (Robinson, 2002). This must be expanded. More states and nations need to request an individual’s wish and right to die. In the first year that physician assited suicide was available in Oregon, a very small number of people utilized it. This alone should tell society that allowing this type of euthanasia would not necessitate abusing this type of

Legalize Euthanasia Essay

867 words - 3 pages assisted suicide is a rising controversial problem in the world. Many people are against the idea of helping someone 'kill themselves'. This is a problem because many people who have had fatal incidents and are left with chronic conditions live everyday in pain, mental suffering, and emotional suffering. Euthanasia and assited sucide is to help someone who no longer wants to live, pass on. A poll taken by CBS News asked respondents if they thought "a

The Right To Live Or Die

1939 words - 8 pages , Assited Suicide, Should it be legal?.Web MD, Jan. 2000, Robert F, ed. Physician-Assisted Suicide. Medical Ethics Ser. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1997.University of Washington School of Medicine (WS). Ethics in Medicine 2003