Attitudes Toward Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Death is a sensitive topic for most people. The death of a person or of a loved one is an event that is ritualized across the globe. Death therefore is defined as the permanent cessation of all vital functions that sustains the life of an organism.

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Physician Assisted Suicide is defined as the suicide of a patient by drug prescription with the provided help of a physician. Through this way, terminally ill patients are able to end their life and leave earth in a dignified way. It is currently legalized in six out of fifty US states and in some other countries such as Belgium, Canada, and Switzerland. The option to go through the PAS is only limited to people who are currently terminally ill. Terminally ill patients are defined as people who have illnesses which are either incurable, or no treatment would be effective any more. Aside from the fact that these terminally ill patients would die in their own way and in their own desired time, they also claim that this would help in the reduction of treatment costs that is not only burden to the patient themselves but also to their families who they would leave behind whether they go through it or not. Some people disagree to PAS being legalized across the country because they claim that the terminally ill person may be mentally impaired as well; and that this practice also goes against the physicians Hippocratic Oath. Most people who are interested in the legalization and dismissal of this movement are politicians, physicians, families, and the terminally ill patients themselves.

Body Claim

Terminally ill patients are the only ones legally recognized that can be a candidate for the claim. 70% of people who opt to go through the PAS program are cancer patients. Mostly are people with old age, are white, and are well-educated. To be considered, the person should also be a resident of either one of the states where the statute is legalized. Aside from being terminally ill physically, the person should be of sound mind to be considered. This means that the person should not be going through mental health issues that can be a reason why they choosing to do the procedure. They should be able to communicate well on their own with their health care providers and be able to verbalize their full consent. In regards to their illness, they should be diagnosed to die within the next six months or less and their illness should be approved as a reasonable medical illness that is terminal. Aside from being verbally competent, the person should also be able to take the medicine on their own. The physicianr’s job is only to prescribe and be there during the procedure to make sure the person is decided to do it and to make sure the drug worked afterwards.

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