The Importance Of Physician Assisted Suicide In 50 States

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In 2014, physician assisted suicide accounted for 0.21% of deaths in the United States. This means that less than 1% of all deaths in the country consisted of terminally ill patients choosing to have the final say in the way that they die. That makes you think though, would the percentage have been higher if assisted suicide were legal in all 50 states? In states where bills regarding the legalization of assisted suicide have not been passed, terminal patients either take their own life or must chose to live in a prolonged state of pain until their body physically cannot take it anymore. Although all of these options are difficult for both the patient and their loved ones who feel as if they cannot do anything to help them, many families say …show more content…
Imagine being diagnosed with a terminal illness and being told that for the rest of the short time that you had left, you would be in pain for the majority of it. This exact scenario is what thousands of people experience each year. However, if you live in California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, or Montana you’re in luck! Those 5 states allow you to consider going through agencies such as Compassion & Choices or the Final Exit Network that help you consider the option of physician assisted suicide. If you don’t live in those 5 states though, you don’t have that option. This is the situation that a majority of those terminal patients find themselves in. In 2001, Kevin Drum’s father-in-law, Harry, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare and vicious cancer caused by rebel plasma cells. Harry lived in California during a time in which assisted suicide was not yet legal, and knowing how the last few months of his life would be spent, he chose to end his own life. “[...] he had watched all too many of his patients struggle with their final months, and this experience had persuaded him that he would take his own life if he found himself dying of an agonizing and clearly terminal illness.” (“My Right to Die” Drum, Kevin). Since Harry was a physician, he knew exactly how his situation would turn out. Although many patients chose to end their lives, there are a lot of patients who don’t take that route. The last 3 or so

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