Benefits Of Legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide

1611 Words 7 Pages
Physician Assisted Suicide: Why it Should be Legalized
“I can’t even tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don’t have to die the way that it’s been described to me that my brain tumor would take me on its own” (Brittany) says Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old woman who was diagnosed with grade four brain cancer and had been told she had less than six months to live. So when worst came to worst, November 1st 2014, Brittany used physician assisted suicide to die peacefully while surrounded by her family. Doctor assisted suicide should be legalized throughout the United States for people in the same position as Brittany Maynard. Without this law, critically ill people are forced to endure the pain of their disease. Physician
…show more content…
According to Derek Humphry and others in the Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization, “every competent adult has the incontestable right to humankind’s ultimate civil and personal liberty -- the right to die in a manner and at a time of their own choosing” (Humphry). Congress declared through the court cases of Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill that “there was nothing to prevent the states from allowing both assisted suicide and physician participation in assisted suicide, so long as Congress does not preempt their authority by passing a law banning physician- assisted suicide nationally” (Richards). Furthermore, the right to privacy, procreation, family, and the refusal of medical treatment all support the liberty interest in doctor assisted dying and the choice of a hastened death. The life value of a person is for that individual to decide upon and should not be influenced by the government. People should do with their bodies what they see fit. “For some patients, having control improves the quality of life at the end of life” (Marczynski) says Robb Miller, the executive director of Compassion and Choices of Washington. Physician assisted suicide should be an option for those dying with deteriorating lifestyles because it is a given right and provides comfort for individuals who have limited …show more content…
For instance, the Netherlands permitted assisted suicide in 2001 for those who were twelve or older and had parent permission. According to a statement by Dr. Keith Wilson of the Ottawa Health Research Institute in 2007, “between 6 and 10% of Dutch patients with advanced cancer choose to die this way” (Robinson). However, various problems occurred in the Netherlands due to the lack of knowledge of lethal medicines and doctors abusing the power given to them through the law. “In 18% of attempted assisted suicides, other problems occurred and doctors decided to administer euthanasia” (Problems). Many of the complications that arose resulted from the vague guidelines and no enforcement of the regulations. In addition, physician assisted suicide was legalized in the U.S. states of Oregon (1997), Washington (2008), Vermont (2013), and by court case in Montana (2008) and New Mexico (2014). Each of these states had extremely strict guidelines to follow. They require the individual to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than six months to live. Also, the person must be at least 18 years of age, make two verbal and written requests to die, and be informed of other options available to him or her. “In Oregon, complications associated with physician-assisted suicide appear to be less frequent than in the Netherlands” says Monika Ardelt, a sociology professor at the University of

Related Documents