Matthew Donnelly: The Life And Death Of An Assisted Suicide

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Physician—assisted suicide is when a physician provides a prescription for a lethal dose of medicine to a terminally ill patient upon their request. (http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/pad.html). It all started in 1906, when Ohio drafted a euthanasia bill, but failed. Since then Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, and Washington have made it legal, and set protocol that allows terminally ill patients to choose when they die. Oregon’s law requires the patient to be at least 18 years old, a resident of Oregon, have a terminal condition with six months to live, and must be able to make the health care decision for themselves (http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/faqs.pdf). Montana …show more content…
Little did he know that after 30 years of his beloved career would cause him to lose his jaw, nose, lips, eyes, left hand, and two fingers on his right hand. Donnelly’s skin cancer had taken over his entire life; he was designated to his hospital bed hunched over, teeth clenched, rocking back and forth-in pain. His brother Harold could not stand to his brother in pain anymore, so he went home grabbed a .30 caliber, and returned to the hospital to kill Donnelly. Harold was later tried for murder. (http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n1/suicide.html)
Due to physician—assisted suicide not being legal in their state, Donnelly had to live his last year in unimaginable pain. So, Harold did what was best for his brother, and took away the pain by shooting him. It is fair that Harold was tried for murder because murder is illegal, but he would not have had to kill his brother if the law was passed. This is a perfect example of why terminally ill patients should have the right to choose their own death. Donnelly’s illness was out of his control. To live the rest of his life in a profound amount of pain, with no relief is
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If all the pros and cons are taken into consideration there could be criteria and requirements so no mistakes are made. Requirements such as only terminally ill patient’s, who were given a certain amount of time to live, can only have this option. No one with mental disorders, or depression can get this option due to the fact there is no disease that is killing them; it is themselves. They do not have a deadline to their life, but terminally ill patients do. Next is when being diagnosed, the patient needs to go for a second opinion. If a second opinion is given it ensures that the patient was not misdiagnosed the first time, it would avoid any wrongful assisted suicide. Another requirement is get them evaluated by a psychiatrist to make sure they are mentally stable enough to make such a drastic decision. Also, the family cannot influence the doctors or patient unless the patient is in an incoherent state and cannot make a decision themselves. For example, if the patient is in a comma and there is no chance of them coming out, the family can make the decision. Other than that, the decision between life and death is up to the patient as long as they meet the

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