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Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia, or assisted suicide is a very sensitive and debatable topic of todays world. With the medical technology of today, it is possible to keep a person alive even if brain dead, by the use of life support machines and other life sustaining equipment. The debate is that when a person is at a dead end, either in a coma or having been diagnosed with a terminal disease that ends in death, should that person be able to have the right to choose to die by an assisted suicide. Here are the opinions of those for it.

In todays world, medical technology has advanced so much that it is now possible to sustain life through formerly life ending injuries or illneses. An alternative to the years of suffering and pain, is an assisted suicide. What exactly is an assisted suicide? Well, it is providing the means, like drugs, by which a person can take his or her own life. Right now there are only two places in the world that it is legal to have an assisted suicide, or a physiscian assisted suicide where a medical doctor assists in directing the suicide of a dying patient.

Those two places are the State of Oregon in the U. S. nd the Northern Territory of Australia. There are strict guidelines on determining whether a person is under law able to have an assisted suicide. There are two cases for an assisted suicidem according to Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO). “One is if the patient is in an advanced terminal illness that is causing unbearable suffering to the individual. This is the most common reason to seek an early end. The other is if the person suffers from a grave physical handicap which is so restricting that the individual cannot, even after due consideration, counseling and re-training, tolerate such a limited existence.

This is a fairly rare reason for suicide — most impaired people cope remarkably well with their affliction — but there are some who would, at a certain point, rather die. ” Usually a person will either have in his/her living will that in case they are unable to care or think for themselves that their closest relatives or spouse are to decide what is the best thing for him/her. Also a person cannot choose to end their life at the first diagnosis of a terminal disease. The person must seek treatment for the illness and show that medical help has been sought to cure or at least slow down the life-ending disease.

Unlike Dr. Jack Kevorkian, assisted suicide should involve the whole family and relatives of the individual, it should not be done alone. What many of the critics of euthanasia is that a person should die when God says so. In this critiscm it is pointed out that God is a loving and caring being that would not want to see you in any pain and that he would not deny you entry into the gates of heaven if you came early to avoid pain and suffering. It is also said that a person under care of a hospice company can live out their last months in comfort and peace.

This is not always true since in most cases near the last weeks of a persons life he/she is so drugged out by injections that they are unconscious. I doubt that is how most people would like to spend their last precious time on earth. Euthanasia- 2nd Source For my second source, I found a report that was written concerning a lecture given at Harvard Medical School. It was given by Dr. Ruth L. Fishcbach, a professor in medical ethics. It was found that 66% of all physicians interviewed thought there was nothing wrong with overriding a patients advanced directive and advice, saying that they thought there judgement would help in the end.

This document also focuses in on the division of groups on the idea of end of life medical care. The differencew between physicians and their patients, and physicians and the AMA(American Medical Association) are looked at. It starts out by telling the definition of an advanced directive. Which is “a general term that refers to any instruction or statement regarding future medical care. ” The goal of these directives is to define in advance the types of medical care people would or would not want to experience if they become mentally incompetent or otherwise unable to communicate their needs.

Two types or examples of advanced directives are the Living Will, and the Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy. On another note, only 40% of Physicians would actually help in assisting a suicide of one of their terminally ill patients. 70% of the U. S. populations though, said they favored physician assisted suicide. Research has showed that hematologists and cancer specialists were the biggest opposers to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.

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