Assisted Suicide Research Paper

Submitted By kjones305
Words: 1207
Pages: 5

Would you help? Mrs. Smith is in pain. She knows she is dying and doesn’t want to suffer anymore. She wants you to help her commit suicide, will you help her? Mr. Holbrooks is in a coma. He will be a termed, “vegetable” for the rest of his life. His children know that he wouldn’t want to live this way and that he would want to be taken off life support. Would you help him? Assisted suicide is seen as a controversial topic, but when considering it as a loved one could be the one needing it, given consent, organ donors, and having no other options, it is not unethical and can be justified. Assisted suicide has been a big topic in the news since about 1990. Before the 1900’s, patients did not have a choice in their medical treatment. After the world wars, a choice of treatment was given. Back then, many chose not to have treatment because either way the chance was that they would die. As medical treatment has evolved and became more successful, some people still choose not to have treatment because they believe that the treatment will not help. This is not assisted suicide; it is suicide in its entirety. Assisted suicide is legal in three states in the United States of America and some other states are voting on the issue. As a patient, there are not many doctors who will participate in assisted suicide. As a person, there are many sites and people willing to help, but only if you meet the qualifications. These sites and people are willing to help because they also believe that assisted suicide can be justified. Many of these sites require that the person wanting to commit suicide be terminally ill without much hope of getting better or someone who will eventually die because of a problem they have. Treatable depression sufferers are screened out in the intensive process that is required to have assistance in suicide. When loved ones are suffering, it is common to want to do anything possible to help. This even includes allowing the loved one to decide if they want to partake in assisted suicide with the help of a doctor. It can be a challenge to find a doctor that will help because in all but three states in the United States of America, it is illegal and would be considered a homicide in the justice system. If a doctor will participate, the patient has to give consent. Sometimes this cannot happen because the patient is not in the correct state of mind to make the choice. Many patients who are on life support and are unresponsive are given the option to let the children or closest relatives make the choice of coming off life support or staying on for them. When this happens, many of these loved ones decide that they cannot make the decision because they feel it is them killing their loved ones. Many terminally ill patients will write into their will that they do not want to be on life support for an extended amount of time and they give consent to be taken off of life support. Patients who give this consent obviously have to be in the coherent state of mind to give this consent. The children and loved ones of these patients sometimes make it hard for the doctors who have consent because they do not want a family member to die. There have been court cases because of this as well. The children and loved ones of the patient can be angry and try to sue the hospital, doctors, and companies that contributed to the assisted suicide of their family. However, most of these said court cases do not get off the ground. When a person has decided to be an organ donor it means that when someone is pronounced dead, if their organs are still in good use they will be donated to someone one in need. 79% of patients that died in Oregon from 1996 to 2006 were organ donors. 2% fell in the category of assisted suicide, and all 6 of those patients were organ donors. Which means, when they gave consent to be taken off of life support in any case, they had also given consent to have their organs donated to someone in need. Ten lives