Ethics Paper 1

Submitted By victoriab123
Words: 507
Pages: 3

Victoria Bogosian
10/13/14
Post University
Physician Assisted Suicide
Currently only four states in America have legalized physician-assisted suicide. The other 46 consider it illegal. The states that allow it are Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. All legislations were passed between 1994 in 2013, so the legality of physician-assisted suicide is relatively new. Each state had its own reasoning for legalizing assisted suicide. Montana ruled that “a competent, terminally ill patient has a legal right to die with dignity" (“State-by-State Guide to Physician-Assisted Suicide – Euthanasia” n.d.). Utilitarian’s would find physician-assisted suicide as morally right being that it does the most good for the most people.
Because it can help those who are terminally ill, dying, or are suffering, die a peaceful death over what would be a painful one if they did not choose to go that route. PAS is often called the euthanasia, which originated from the Greek language. It literally means “good death” ("Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide: All sides to the issue," n.d.). There are several types of euthanasia, and not all are legal. There is active euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide. PAS is defined as “when a physician supplies information/the means of committing suicide to a person so that they can easily terminate their own life” ("Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide: All sides to the issue," n.d.). Throughout North America committing suicide or attempting to is no longer a criminal offense, but still there is a negative connotation to it. Another reason why people might choose PAS over using their own means to terminate their life.
Although suicide itself is no longer illegal, aiding in someone’s suicide is. Helping another person to commit suicide, even if they wished for you to, is generally considered a crime. How did we ever come up with this notion? Many people misunderstand the meaning of physician-assisted suicide, and this may be where it gets its negative connotation. Many mistake PAS for just general euthanasia. However the two are