The Debate On Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1710 Words Sep 17th, 2015 7 Pages
“Assisted Suicide,” “Murder,” “Self-Deliverance,” “Euthanasia” - whatever name it goes by, one thing is certain: it is one of the most passionately debated issues confronting people today. The battle lines have been drawn, and generally people are either for the legalization of physician assisted suicide under specified conditions or against any form of the practice altogether. Both sides of the debate present arguments that take into consideration the moral, medical, and ethical implications of their decisions. It is not a crime in the United States to take one’s own life. The question becomes: is there a point when it should be legal for a physician to assist someone in taking their life?
In the debate on physician assisted suicide (PAS), there is a distinction between PAS and active euthanasia. “In physician assisted suicide, the physician provides the patient with the means to end his or her own life. In euthanasia, the physician deliberately and directly intervenes to end the patient’s life; this is sometime called “active euthanasia” to distinguish it from withholding or withdrawing treatment needed to sustain life” (Frileux 330). Oregon became the only state in the US where PAS is legal by passing the Death with Dignity Act in 1994 (although the act did not go into effect until 1997.) The Death with Dignity Act gave physicians the right to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to patients experiencing intolerable pain and dying of an incurable disease under…

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