Death with Dignity or Murder?(Freedomist, 2010)
What is Assisted Suicide? General term for helping a patient to terminate their life Majority of assisted suicide requests are from severely or terminally ill (Knickerbocker, 2010) patients
Types of Assisted SuicideEuthanasia: Physician-assisted suicide: Physician prescribes the Physician prescribes the treatment treatment Patient administers the Physician directly administers treatment the treatment to the patient Physician does not administer the treatment
Types of Euthanasia Active Voluntary Administering treatment to end Patient consents to treatment life Passive Involuntary Withholding from treatment Patient is unable to consent to that sustains life treatment
Legality Euthanasia Illegal in the United States, Canada Legal in Netherlands, Belgium Physician-assisted suicide Legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana Legal in Netherlands (Chaikin, 2009)
Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act1. Requires the patient give a fully informed, voluntary decision.2. Applies only to the last 6 months of the patient’s life.3. Makes it mandatory that a second opinion by a qualified physician be given that the patient has fewer than 6 months to live.4. Requires two oral requests by the patient.5. Requires a written request by the patient.6. Allows cancellation of the request at any time.7. Makes it mandatory that a 15-day waiting period occurs after the first oral request.8. Makes it mandatory that 48-hours (2 days) elapse after the patient makes a written request to receive the medication.9. Punishes anyone who uses coercion on a patient to use the Act.10. Provides for psychological counseling if either of the patient’s physicians thinks the patient needs counseling.11. Recommends the patient inform his/her next of kin.12. Excludes nonresidents of Oregon from taking part.13. Mandates participating physicians are licensed in Oregon.14. Mandates Health Division Review.15. Does not authorize mercy killing or active euthanasia.
ControversyAgainst For A cry for help Not all pain or situations are Suicide intent is not permanent controllable Depressed There are safeguards Financial obligation to families Humane Pain is controllable Patient Self-Determination Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would legalize euthanasia Murder Sin
Impact Healthcare and HumanPatients Service Workers In 47 states terminally ill Many healthcare and human patients cannot choose to end service workers would be and their suffering have to be involved in physician-assisted suicide In the 3 states that have cases against their beliefs. legalized physician assisted suicide, terminally ill patients are faced with a monumental decision
References Amarasekara, K., & Bagaric, M. (2004). Moving from voluntary euthanasia to non-voluntary euthanasia: equality and compassion. Ratio Juris, 17(3), 398-423. Chaikin, S. (2009). Physician-Assisted Suicide: Should Death Be a Choice? Message posted to http://myportfolio.usc.edu/schaikin/2009/10/physician-assisted_suicide_should_death_be_a_choice.html Chetwynd, S. B. (2004). Right to life, right to die, and assisted suicide. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 21(2), 174-182. DiNitto, D. M. (2011). Social welfare: politics and public policy (7th ed.). Boston: Person Education Incorporation. Freedomist. (2010). Germany Supreme court rules: assisted suicide ok. Message posted to http://welcometoafreeworld.blogspot.com/2010/06/germany-supreme-court-rules-assisted.html Gorman, D. (1999). Active and passive euthanasia: the cases of Drs. Claudio Alberto de la Rocha and Nancy Morrison. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 160(6), 857-860. Knickerbocker, B. (2010). Montana becomes third state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Message posted to http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0102/Montana-becomes-third-state-to-legalize-physician-assisted-suicide Lachman, V. (2010). Physician-assisted suicide: compassionate liberation or murder? Medsurg Nursing, 19(2), 121-124. Mackelprang, R. W., & Mackelprang R. D. (2005). Historical and contemporary issues in end-of-life decisions: Implications for social work. Social Work, 50(4), 315-323. Traina, L. H. (1998). Religious perspectives on assisted suicide. Journal of criminal law and criminology, 88(3), 1147-1154.