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Doctor Assisted Suicide Essay

1109 words - 4 pages

Have you ever thought about what you would do if you became diagnosed with a terminal illness that changed your life completely? There are many choices in the world that one could make, such as seeking physician-assisted suicide or deciding to live with a terminal illness. It is not everyday a person sits around and think about what they would do if an illness became unbearable to them. One could agree with Diane Coleman’s article “Doctor-Assisted Suicide Should Not Be an Option” or one could agree with Kathryn Tucker’s article “People Should Be Allowed To Choose Doctor-Assisted Suicide.” To better understand the authors’ opposing positions concerning physician-assisted suicide, one must examine their differing views on the reasons for choosing suicide, the possibility of doctors’ abuse or coercion, and the societal impact of legalization of doctor-assisted suicide.
The reasons why one would choose physician-assisted suicide may vary from patient to patient due to their individual diagnoses; however, both Coleman and Tucker believe that the lost of activities of daily living plays a major part in one concluding to seek assistance in suicide. Tucker states, “The patient’s most frequently cited concerns include a decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, the loss of autonomy, and the loss of dignity” (Tucker) as reasons for wanting to hasten death. Coleman concurs by stating, “The reasons doctors actually report for issuing lethal prescriptions are the patient’s loss of autonomy, loss of dignity, and feelings of being a burden” (Coleman). While Tucker believes her reasons are valid enough to seek assistance, Coleman does not think the reasons are valid. Coleman implies that becoming more dependent on another person may be a disability, but one has to learn how to acquire a different lifestyle and not let it take one’s dignity away from them. Understanding the different motives of why people choose to hasten their death may help you decide if you are ever in this predicament.
The possibility of doctor abuse or coercion is discussed in both articles. Coleman informs the readers of her article that doctors have a financial interest in aiding with suicides. These physicians, according to Coleman, are allowed to come to the conclusion of which patients is in need of their assistance and decides what information to discuss concerning treatment for their illness. Coleman says, “Oregon Law gives physician too much power” (Coleman). It allows the physician to say who is coherent enough to make the decision and if this is a good choice for that individual. Although, Coleman believes that physician is coercing patients, Tucker implies that doctors do not encourage patients to hasten death. In Tucker’s article Arthur Caplan states, “I was worried about people being pressured to do this. But this data confirms, for the seventh year, that the policy in Oregon is working. There is no evidence of abuse or coercion or...

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