A teacher I once had in high school would often talk about her father who lived in hospice care. Her father suffered from dementia and had been for years. She would often talk about how on his “good” days he would plead her husband to put a pillow on his head and suffocate him, to take him out of his misery. If it was legal, her husband would have willingly helped her father and put him out of his misery, however in the state of North Carolina, physician-assisted suicide is illegal. Luckily, her father passed away this year and is finally free of pain and suffering. However, if physician-assisted suicide was legal, her father would not have had to suffer as long as he did.
Before we explore the sides of physician-assisted suicide, let’s go over exactly what physician-assisted suicide entails. When the topic of physician-assisted suicide comes up, many individuals believe it is the same as euthanasia. Euthanasia involves a physician actively injecting a patient with a legal drug in order to end life (Engdahl 16). However, this is not the case when it comes to physician-assisted suicide. According to “Assisted Suicide Overview” by Lee Stingl and M. Alexander, physician-assisted suicide isany case in which a doctor gives a patient (usually someone with a terminal illness) the means to carry out their own suicide. Typically this is done by providing access to a lethal dose of medication, which the patient then self-administers.
In other words, physician-assisted suicide is when a physician helps a patient end their own life by prescribing lethal drugs (Engdahl 16). Whether or not the patient decides to take the drugs is completely up to them. Currently, physician-assisted suicide is not legal nationwide, it is only lega…
…e he still remembered his family.
Ebrahimi, Nargus. “The Ethics of Euthanasia.” Australian Medical Student Journal 3.1 (2012): 73-75. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Egendorf, Laura K. Assisted Suicide. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, INC., 1998. Print.
Engdahl, Sylvia. Assisted Suicide. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2009. Print.
Hulkower, Raphael. “The History of the Hippocratic Oath: Outdated, Inauthentic, and Yet Still Relevant.” Einstein Journal of Biology & Medicine 25.26 (2010): 41-44. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Lee Stingl, M. Alexander. “Assisted Suicide Overview.” Salem Press Encyclopedia (2013): Research Starters. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Quill, Timothy E. “Physicians Should ‘Assist in Suicide’ When it is Appropriate.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 40.1 (2012): 57-65. CINAHL. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
The Catholic Public Domain Bible. Ed. Ronald L. Conte Jr. N.p, 2009. Print.