Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Physician Assisted Suicide: Death With Dignity
An individual’s autonomy in the United States allows a person to have certain unalienable rights like freedom of speech and religion. However, at the end of one’s life, most states have laws that restrict the right to die with the aid of a doctor. This is also known as physician assisted suicide. Hence, the question should be asked: Does every human being have the right to terminate his or her life? My firm belief is that physician assisted suicide is a policy that should be allowed but taken seriously. In the event of a terminal disease, the patient should be allowed to die. However, not only should a doctor sign off on this request, board members of a health organization should review the patient’s decision. A counselor should be assigned to this patient with hopes of swaying his or her decision by assessing their psychological reasoning. By no means should a person be forced to suffer through their last days. Frances Kann once said, “Therefore, when death is a lesser evil, it is sometimes permissible for us to intend death in order to stop pain” (Globalreasoning.com). This is a powerful statement and speaks to the autonomy that terminally ill people deserve. Now, on a broader spectrum, terminally ill patients are easily justified, but what about people that have been battling with disorders such as schizophrenia? This is very debatable, but the answer lies with the individual person. When people suffer neurological disorders, such as turrets, his or her life can be very painful to endure. Personally, I am close to a person with this disorder. Losing control of your body can take a toll and possibly make a person want to end his or her suffering. If the severity of a terminal disorder persist, then the patient, doctor, psychologist, and other personnel should determine if physician assisted suicide is applicable.
Physician assisted suicide also has negative outcomes that must be addressed. Doctor’s must obey what is called “The Hippocratic Oath”. This degree states that we should treat the ill with the best of one’s ability. Most pro-PAS members take this statement less conservative. I believe that every doctor has the responsibility to keep a patient alive. However, in the event of a terminal illness, PAS may be what is “best for the patient” if they choose so. The next issue is that corruption could occur by the government and insurance companies. Terminally ill patients cost insurance companies millions every year. Insurance companies could set up incentives for families of PAS, which could sway a patient’s decision. Physician assisted suicide could open Pandora’s Box. In order to prevent this development if PAS was nationally legal, our country would need restrictions and laws that would prevent this from occurring. The final measure to account for is the families. When a love one is lost, the families most often suffer the most emotional pain. Additionally, a family member may not agree with PAS by his or her religious background. If terms of agreement are met among family members with the patient, then physician assisted suicide may be permissible.