Is assisted suicide okay if the patient would like to die?
What is assisted suicide?
- when doctors give patients a life ending drug, but the patients choose if and when they use the drug
- suicide facilitated by another person, normally a physician, who organizes the suicide, by providing the necessary quantities of a poison.
More Background Information
- Oregon, Montana, New Mexico (only Bernalillo County), Vermont, and Washington allow assisted suicide
- During the first year the law of death with dignity was in force in Oregon, twenty-four people obtained a prescription for lethal drugs, and sixteen took the drugs and died.
- people think that individuals should be allowed access to medical assistance to end their lives voluntarily, when and how they choose
- People are already allowed to refuse medical treatment even when they know that they will die without it.
- The nurse or doctor can move onto another patient that has a chance at living instead of spending their time helping a terminally ill patient.
- allows patients to control their own end of life peacefully - not tortured by a bad illness
- a planned death can save families tens of thousands of medical costs
- organs can be saved and used to save other patients instead of letting the patient die on their own and have unusable organs
- legalizing assisted suicide and could create moral issues for doctors
- under the law in most states, assisted suicide is considered killing, which is illegal
- people say that it is God's choice to decide when you die, it's not your choice
- might make it to easy for other people suffering from depression or other non-terminal illnesses to commit suicide
- possible someone other than the patient could decide the patient should be given the poison
Oregon's Death with Dignity Act
People related to assisted suicide
Brittany Maynard had brain cancer and only had about 6 months to live. She was going through a lot of pain and her doctors told her she would die a painful death. She decided she didn't want to be torchured and she also didn't want her family to sit in a hospital watching her die. She moved to Oregon and used their Death with Dignity program. This allowed her to die on her own time and enjoy her last few moments alive having fun and not worring about when she was going to die.
An older lady almost at death asked her doctor if she could help her die because the patient didn't want to suffer. The doctor couldn't do this because of the law. The patient also didn't want to go through another episode of heart failure. She was absolutely terrified of it. So, this patient had to sit in the hospital until she died, suffering, and her family had to watch her die in pain.
- An adult (18 years of age or older),
- A resident of Oregon
- Capable (defined as able to make and communicate health care decisions)
- Diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months
"Assisted Suicide." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
CNN Library. "Physician-Assisted Suicide Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
CNN Wire Staff. Dr. Death. Digital image. CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
Coleman, Diane. Brittany Maynard. Digital image. CNN. Cable News Network, 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
Grayling, A. C. "It Is Compassionate to Permit Assisted Suicide." Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Allowing People to Arrange Their Death Is a Simple Act of Kindness." Times 31 Mar. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2014.
Jauhar, Sandeep. "When Assisted Suicide Is Not the Answer." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.
Maynard, Brittany. "My Right to Death with Dignity at 29." CNN. Cable News Network, 02 Nov. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
Mendelson, Scott. "Terminally Ill People Should Have the Right to Die." The Right to Die. Ed. Tamara Thompson. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2014. At Issue. Rpt. from "It Is Time to Grant the Right to Die." Huffington Post. 2010.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
"Percent Support for Euthanasia (1947-2005) and Doctor-assisted Suicide (1996-2005)." Death and Dying: End-of-Life Controversies. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Schadeberg, Alex. "71 Legal Assisted Suicide Deaths in Oregon in 2013." LifeSiteNews. LifeSiteNews.com, 29 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Schneider, Keith. "Dr. Jack Kevorkian Dies at 83; A Doctor Who Helped End Lives." The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 June 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.
Weingarten, Benjamin. Adolf Hitler and his chief of police Heinrich Himmler inspecting the SS Guard. Digital image. The Blaze. TheBlaze Inc, 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.