Medical Aid In Dying Research Paper

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Death With Dignity: A Commentary
Sergej Jagodin
Millersville University

Medical Aid in Dying: A Commentary
The ability to choose when to die is not a topic that is heavily discussed throughout a person’s life. What constitutes dying early and on one’s own terms? Is it moral? Is it right? What if a person is terminally ill? Is choosing when to die reasonable for that person? These are questions relating to Medical Aid in Dying that are being answered by multiple states. Oregon is one of those states, which defines medical aid in dying as physicians prescribing a lethal dose to terminally ill adult patients (“Oregon death”, 2017). Oregon, along with Washington, Vermont, California, Montana, Colorado and Washington D.C., allows authorized
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One major criticism of medical aid in dying is the violation of the Hippocratic Oath. Doctor Leon Kass is on the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago and a strong opponent of medical aid in dying. "The prohibition against killing patients... stands as the first promise of self-restraint sworn to in the Hippocratic Oath, as medicine's primary taboo: 'I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect'” (Kass, 1989). A strong viewpoint, for a doctor must swear to protect his or her patients at all costs. Contrarily, this point is contested by the evolution of the Hippocratic Oath. Former physician and founder of Exit International, a pro-euthanasia organization, Philip Nitschke furthers this position by explaining how the Oath was modified based on the times. Doctors not breaking the skin, or women not practicing medicine is an example of some of the passages being retracted (qtd. in Lopez, 2001). Just like laws and beliefs evolve, so do sworn oaths such as the Hippocratic Oath. Perhaps the Oath will be changed to accommodate that medical aid in dying is the relief of suffering, and that refusing the practice is bringing harm to the …show more content…
Moral reasons could be an avenue for opposing medical aid in dying; and one is right to do so. Writer for The Denver Post Jennifer Brown (2017) reports that hospitals can opt out of medical aid in dying, such as 30 that did in Colorado. Moreover, legal precedent does go opposed to medical aid in dying with Washington v Glucksberg (1997), which decided "The history of the law's treatment of assisted suicide in this country has been and continues to be one of the rejection of nearly all efforts to permit it. That being the case, our decisions lead us to conclude that the asserted 'right' to assistance in committing suicide is not a fundamental liberty interest protected by the Due Process Clause." This position is conceded, since medical aid in dying is still technically suicide, and suicide is illegal. One cannot argue with these claims made by the

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