PHI 103: Informal Logic Instructor Christopher Myers
December 2, 2013
Choosing to end life We as people have many rights and what we do with them will affect people all around us. In some states, there are the rights to die with dignity where you would get either a lethal injection or a lethal drink or take a pill. There are physicians who have helped people with assisted suicide when the patient is unable to inject himself or herself with the lethal prescription drug that will end their life. Physicians have been taking on the responsible of assisted suicide in different areas of the United States and around the world. Physicians have taken an oath to help people with medicine to get better and live a better life at what point did this change and they started to assist with suicide? Should people be able to alleviate the pain with end of life suffering by taking a lethal prescription in order to end their life with the assistant of their physician? Do Physicians have the right to end someone’s life? This has been a very touchy subject around the world. In 2000, there are 20 percent of assisted suicide cases were a doctor administered a lethal drug because the patient was not able to do it himself or herself. Out of the 20 percent, they found two patients who awoke and was in a coma and had to have another injection. Good news they have also found cases where people have changed their mind, once they had better pain control and had treatment for depression. The state of Oregon has a Death with Dignity Act that was put in place in 1997 since this act was founded 43 people have taken their own lives within the last two years. (Brown, D. (2000, Feb 24).
Studies done in Oregon have portray that people are opting for assisted suicide must be well educated, insured and in a hospice care situation. Money seems to have no effect on the matter it is all about the person having concerns about their loss of independence, having a poor quality of life and wanting to control their own circumstances of death. Another study done in Oregon in 1999 showed that from the 27 people who did die from assisted suicide three people died in four hours’ time, three people took about 11 hours and one person took 26 hours and none of them regained consciousness. “If fear of future suffering is one of the things we learn to address, then it may be that fewer people would follow through in taking a lethal prescription.” (Brown, D. (2000, Feb 24). Once the patient has made the decision to dye what they leave behind. Has the patient thought about how this would affect their doctor when taking into consideration of ending their own life? The emotional and psychological effects on a physician who assist in patient assisted suicide can be substantial to the physician who has taken on an oath and has moral values of medicine is to be used to heal and promote human wholeness. A patient wanting death has shocked some doctors; they have felt powerless and isolated. There has been some evidence that patients have pressured and used intimidation on doctors to assist in suicide. Some doctors have felt that by using medical techniques on patients to achieve death does violate the fundamental values of medicine and will undermine the integrity of patient-physician relationship. (Stevens, K. R.,,Jr. (2006).
In a euthanasia, case where a Dutch physician had performed assisted suicide noted, “To kill someone is something far reaching and that is something that nags at your conscience.” (Emanuel, E. J. (1998). He also states he would like to know what it would be like not to even have these cases in his practice. (Stevens, K. R., Jr. (2006).
A report from The American Medical News has reported a comment from Peter Admiraal who is part of a euthanasia movement group. He states, “You will never get accustomed to killing somebody. We are not trained to Kill” (Gianelli, D.