Legalization Of Assisted Suicide Essay

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There are many issues regarding the legalization of assisted suicide. Medical doctors are trained and trusted to save lives, not take them, that leads many to question all doctors if so many are willing to assist in ending the lives of their patients. Medical doctors are sworn in using the Hippocratic Oath in which they promise to save lives to the best of their abilities. If we question the act of physician-assisted suicide it is legally and morally unethical. For example, if an individual is determined to take their life and a friend hands them a gun instructing them to kill themselves, the person giving them the means to carry out the act is just as responsible as the individual committing the act itself. While research shows that physicians …show more content…
Despite many failing to admit it, doctors do make mistakes, that is proven through malpractice lawsuits as well as a medical doctors license being revoked as a direct result of a misstep. "The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, reports that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States at 225,000 deaths per year." (St. Clair 2008) Often through further testing, it is determined a patient may have a different illness than a previous diagnosis; there have also been patients who are given a timeline of less than a year to live and, through treatment, live a longer life than expected. Ted Kennedy suffered from terminal cancer and was given a maximum of four months to live, however his wife stated after his death, "Because that first dire prediction of life expectancy was wrong, I have 15 months of cherished memories." (Kiessling, 2014) Legalization of physician assisted suicide may cause patients to take their lives based on an incorrect diagnosis or hinder the individual from living a longer life than …show more content…
For example, in the Netherlands physicians are more likely to suggest euthanasia as opposed to palliative care which stunts the growth of medical care for patients who wish to receive palliative care as opposed to ending his or her life. (NYLN, 2015) As a witness to a family member dying, I believe my aunt had all the dignity in the world as she fought for her life with her family by her side. When she succumbed to her illness it was not in vain, she never chose to throw in the towel and give up; likewise, her family hangs on to those last memories in the hospital. I personally will never forget telling her "I love you Aunt Mitzi," before the life support was disconnected; the feeling of her squeezing my hand to ensure me that she loved me too and holding her hand until her heart stopped beating. I cannot imagine the anger and pain that would be felt had she chose physician-assisted suicide. With the help of the physicians on staff, her family was able to be with her for over 3 months in the hospital and prepare for the day her life would end. She never stopped fighting and that is the true definition of dying with dignity. One of the most powerful quotes regarding physician-assisted suicide states, "We are all going to die – it’s inevitable. So in a way, we are all terminal, and that is why we must protect life, from conception to natural death." (Hanafin,

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