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Death With Dignity Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

Imagine being told you only had so long to live and that you wouldn’t be able to do anything for yourself due to the amount of pain you're in. Imagine all of your family remembering you as weak and sick instead of how you lived the rest of your life, now imagine you can do something about that. This is the choice so many people in Oregon are glad to have, the choice to end their life with doctor assisted suicide when faced with a terminal illness. Steve Mason received assisted suicide after being told he only had six months to live, he says he wanted control over his death as much as his life, he will choose when and where it happens he says "I lived my life with dignity, I want to go out the same way." Assisted suicide is when a doctor prescribes a lethal prescription knowing that the patient plans to use them to commit suicide, this does not include refusing a ventilator or other life saving measures. Everyone should have a right to control their own life, so with certain provisions i believe everyone should be given the right to doctor assisted suicide when they face a disease that will be terminal guaranteeing they have no pain, and can choose where and when they pass.
The law in Oregon is very specific in how it should be used and when a doctor can prescribe these medications. In Oregon, the Death with Dignity Act allows doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to patients who have been diagnosed by not one but two physicians as having a terminal illness and less than six months to live. Patients only qualify is if they are fully conscious when making the decision and are able to administer the lethal dose without the help of anyone else. While there is no oversight to protect patients from abuse of these laws, it is their choice whether to take the drugs or not.
Other states should adopt laws like this one giving people the choice to end their life when faced with all the hardships that come with being terminally ill. Most people say that when they are terminally ill they are able to relax once they know that they have control over their life and won’t go through pain if they don’t want to. Time magazine did a poll that said that out of the 41% of people who did support the Oregon law 52% said they did agree. People are worried that the suicide being legal will lead to an increase number of deaths but in its first nine years 292 people used assisted suicide under the provisions of the Oregon law thats only about 0.15% of those who died in the state during that time. The other worry is that certain groups of people will be more encouraged to use this due to money issues but no evidence found that people in these groups died more often. But this still worried researchers so they continued to look into it and found that groups including the elderly, women, people with low educational status, the poor, those with illnesses including depression, or people of racial or ethnic backgrounds didn’t use doctor-assisted suicide more often. America is...

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