Complications Of Physician Assisted Suicide In The United States

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Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is when a physician provides a patient with the means required to commit suicide. This includes ensuring that the patient has undergone counseling regarding assisted suicide, and supplying/providing the patient with the appropriate lethal dose of drugs. The act of PAS is often thought to be the same as the act of euthanasia. The two are essentially the same thing but differ in that during euthanasia, the physician administers means of death, whilst during PAS, the patient themselves, administers the means of death. Physicians are only allowed to prescribe lethal medications in states where it is legal regardless of what the patient wants. In June of 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that “state laws banning physician …show more content…
A. (2015). Physician-assisted suicide: Considering the evidence, existential distress, and an emerging role for psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 43(2), 183-190.

This article provides evidence regarding PAS in the United States. It provides support for some of the concerns surrounding PAS. One of these concerns is the possibility that mental illness occurs more often in patients who request PAS as opposed to those who don’t, but not for some of the other concerns like the idea that PAS will be administered more often on the “vulnerable” population. To provide the aforementioned support, the article pulls data statistics from studies that have been done in Oregon regarding PAS. For example, an interview in Oregon that was done with a cross section of patients found that of the patients who requested PAS, one in four had clinical depression. The article also includes data from studies regarding the concerns of patients experience with PAS and the role of existential distress on a patient’s decision to receive PAS. The article provides not only support for the argument against PAS, but it also gives substantial support for the argument for PAS in the United States. It helps to provide a little insight on some of the questions that come up in the debate regarding a patient’s right to PAS in the United
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Many people are under the impression that the legalization of PAS will lead to a decrease in overall suicide rates. Studies were done to try and determine if there was any correlation between PAS legalization and suicide rates within the states it is legal in. The aim of this particular study was to look at the association between the legalization of PAS and state-level suicide rates in the United States between 1990 and 2013. The idea that the legalization of PAS could lead to a significant increase in suicide rates state-wide could be seen as a valid argument against legalizing it. The study tested the change in rates of nonassisted suicides and total suicides (including PAS) before and after the legalization of PAS in the states. The results of the study provided strong evidence that the legalization of PAS leads to increases in state suicide rates (if assisted suicides are included). The study found no evidence proving that PAS was associated with decreases in the rate of nonassisted

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