An argument against assisted suicide in terminally ill patients

Assisted suicide protest

While an overdose of painkillers is a common way for physicians to assist their terminally ill patients in killing themselves, that is not what the previous line was referencing. There is, of course, overwhelming support for providing pain relief for those who are suffering. Neglect of the mentally ill: Assisted suicide laws do not require that a patient undergo psychiatric evaluation before receiving the lethal prescription. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but inevitably we have not managed to include every aspect of this debate, or a voice from every country in which this is an incendiary issue. Another example is Dr. We question whether it is medicine's role to give patients control over the timing and manner of death. Therefore, an heir or friends of the heir can encourage or pressure the patient to request lethal drugs and then be a witness to the request. Multidisciplinary interventions should be sought, including specialty consultation, hospice care, spiritual support, family counseling and other assistance. It is also true that changes in health care are required to better train and prepare physicians for pain control, and to better understand and provide end of life care. In fact, the evidence leads to the conclusion that most of the schemes for assisted dying should be bolder. Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons.

They differ where they place the line that separates relief from dying--and killing. Supreme Court ruled that state laws that criminalize physician-assisted suicide are not unconstitutional. Cotton, Paul.

Against physician assisted death essay

Fortunately, well-established principles of medicine and bioethics provide sound and abundant grounds for opposing physician-assisted suicide. Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would bring subtle and not-so-subtle pressure to bear on terminally ill patients who fear their illness is physically, emotionally, or financially burdensome to families or caretakers. In the United States, the laws regarding physician-assisted suicide vary among states. It provided a safe haven for physicians who dispense pain control medications in accordance with the federal Controlled Substance Act. But after studying both sides of the issue, a compassionate individual must conclude that competent terminal patients should be given the right to assisted suicide in order to end their suffering, reduce the damaging financial effects of hospital care on their families, and preserve the individual right of people to determine their own fate. Based on current evidence, people seeking physician-assisted suicide there are more often concerned about loss of autonomy and control. When that loved-one passes away, however, the family has to struggle with a huge hospital bill and are often subject to financial ruin. Legalizing assisted suicide is a grave mistake. The debates go back and forth about whether a dying patient has the right to die with the assistance of a physician. Medicine is supposed to alleviate the suffering that a patient undergoes. What is physician-assisted suicide? We include one person who, faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, is considering taking themselves to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. New York: Knopf,

Hendin, M. Advocates of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide buttress this argument with data showing that inadequate pain control is given to patients who are dying with painful conditions.

The strategy for convincing legislators that a bill promoting pain relief would actually do the opposite and impede pain relief is laid out in some detail in a book entitled Handbook of Pain Relief in Older Adults, to be released by Humana Press later this year.

support for physician assisted death

Most terminal patients want their death to be a peaceful one and with as much consolation as possible. Physicians are also divided on the issue.

against assisted dying

Suicide is not advocated, except where it is cloaked as a medical procedure with the qualifier "physician-assisted. Legalizing assisted suicide is a grave mistake. Those terminally ill patients who have accepted their imminent death cannot prevent their families from plunging into financial debt because they do not have the option of halting the medical bills from piling up.

On the other side of the issue, however, people who are against assisted suicide do not believe that the terminally ill have the right to end their suffering.

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The Case Against Assisted Suicide