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Downfalls Of Assisted Suicide Essay

815 words - 4 pages

Although Dr. Jack Kevorkian was ultimately incarcerated for murder, his practices of euthanasia sparked interest in the idea of physician-assisted death. The general consensus of the public was his actions were malpractice due to the possibility of his patients not actually wanting to die. Assisted suicide arose from the remnant of Dr. Kevorkian’s infamy. In 1994, Oregon passed a law called Death with Dignity, which legalized assisted suicide. Although many people found the law to be a social breakthrough, the implications that have arisen exemplify how assisted suicide is too complex to be legalized.
In essence, Death with Dignity is a misnomer. To imply that suicide is a dignified death is ...view middle of the document...

The combination of an amount of time they supposedly have to live and the drugs that could easily kill them gives more incentive for people to kill themselves. A patient may believe that death is the only way to avoid the unpleasantness of death, but technology and modern medicine can provide another alternative.
The Hippocratic Oath, upheld by the majority of physicians, prohibits assisted suicide. The oath does not explicitly mention assisted suicide; however, there is a section that reads, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan.” Through the years, the oath has been manipulated and rewritten to be more relevant, but the original oath is still used by many medical schools today. The basic role of physicians is to better the lives of their patients through extending their life and prolong death. Allowing a patient to commit suicide is counterintuitive of physicians’ responsibilities and violates the Hippocratic Oath that has been around since the 4 century B.C.E. Additionally, patients have the right to refuse treatment, which is another form on death on one’s own accord. By refusing treatment, the patient controls their death and does not force a physician to help them obtain a lethal medicine. Pallitive care can also help patients be comfortable in their last days.
The Death with Dignity act is also showing its flaws, even though it is relatively new. A...

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