Essay about Physician Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia

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Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is still largely considered a taboo in present-day Western society. The idea of taking one’s own life, regardless of emotional and physical circumstances, shocks many people, especially those who believe that death should arrive naturally. Despite ongoing public outcry, however, Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill patients, under the supervision and evaluation of a physician, to opt for self-euthanasia. Under this law, Oregon residents in a critical state of health who are 18 years of age and older, and demonstrate a competent ability of making their own medical choices, have the right to request physician-assisted suicide. Since the enactment of the law in 1997, a total of 1,173 people have ended their lives through self-administered lethal doses of prescription medications. (Oregon Health Authority).
In recent years, several states in the U.S. have attempted to pass similar laws (only five states, Washington, Oregon, Montana, New Mexico, and Vermont, allow PAS); still, such legislation is often received with a range of conflicting religious and philosophical standpoints. Many, for example, take a religious, Christian stance on the subject and argue that only God has the authority to decide one’s death. Suicide is considered a serious sin against God, and the ultimate result of such action is hell in the afterlife. There are others, however, who support physician-assisted suicide based on consequentialist philosophy; their…

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