This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Euthanasia Essay Assisted Suicide And The Supreme Court

1568 words - 6 pages

Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court

 
   After the nation's highest court declared that U.S. citizens are not constitutionally guaranteed the right to a physician-assisted suicide, the movement has sort of lost its steam. Why do the Supreme Court Justices consider legalization dangerous? How did it win legislative approval in Oregon in the first place? What is the current trend in public opinion about this question? This essay will delve into these questions.

After the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a crushing blow to the assisted suicide movement, time stopped for the activists. In a unanimous decision, the nine justices upheld the right of each and every state to protect its residents. Justice Rehnquist, writing for the Court, clearly articulated the dangers that legalized assisted suicide would pose, particularly to those who are most vulnerable: "The risk of harm is greatest for the many individuals in our society whose autonomy and well-being are already compromised by poverty, lack of access to good medical care, advanced age, or membership in a stigmatized social group."(1)

With the Court's decision, the door was slammed in the faces of those who sought to prevent full public discussion of what permissive assisted suicide would mean to all of us. Contrary to what some have said, the decision did not open any doors. Instead it recognized that the debate belongs at the state level where the realities can be fully and honestly addressed. Now, with their resounding defeat from the Supreme Court, assisted suicide advocates are forced to take their case before the court of public opinion where they are losing support.

 

During the last year, national support for euthanasia has fallen 18 percentage points. In l996, 75 percent of Americans said they favored permitting a doctor to end a patient's life. (2) Now, that support has fallen to 57 percent. (3) This change reflects the fact that, as people learn more about assisted suicide, their opposition to it grows. In a very short time, each and every state will be deeply embroiled in assisted suicide advocates' attempts to transform the procedure of assisted suicide into a medical treatment. Yet this is an opportunity for all of us who wish to care for, not "take care of" vulnerable people to provide accurate, complete information that is so vital to the final outcome of this debate. The current situation in Oregon provides a lesson in the need for true and complete information.

Over the next few months, the spotlight will be on Oregon where a law permitting assisted suicide (Measure 16 (4) ) that passed in l994, is being played out. In April 1997, the Oregon Medical Association's House of Delegates -- which had previously remained neutral on Measure 16 -- voted 121-1 to condemn implementation of Measure 16. (5) And a poll taken in May 1997 showed that 61 percent of voters favored a new vote on Measure 16. (6)

What happened in Oregon? How did such a poorly conceived and...

Find Another Essay On Euthanasia Essay - Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay

1538 words - 6 pages Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideIntroductionWhile medical life-ending behavior occurs in a great many jurisdictions, only very few have explicitly legalized euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, or both. There are various forms of medical life-ending behavior that are classified as euthanasia. These include "active voluntary euthanasia," when medical intervention takes place, at a patient's request, to end the patient's life; "passive voluntary

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay

1112 words - 4 pages Euthanasia Evaluation How much do you trust your physician? Do you trust them enough to put the faith of your life in their hands? The focus of this evaluation is on euthanasia, or also known as physician assisted suicide. Physician assisted suicide is the practice of putting the end to a terminally ill person who requested this option. Should euthanasia be legalized? The practice of euthanasia is becoming more and more widely accepted

Essay on Euthanasia and Doctor-Assisted Suicide

1188 words - 5 pages overturned by the Australian Parliament in 1997. Also, in 1997, Colombia's Supreme Court ruled that penalties for mercy killing should be removed.(Republic) However the ruling does not go into effect until guidelines, still to be drafted, are approved by the Colombian Congress.   The difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide is seen this way: One way to distinguish them is to look at the last act - the act without which death would not

Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

1438 words - 6 pages Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia      Assisted suicide is one of the most controversial topics discussed among people every day. Everyone has his or her own opinion on this topic. This is a socially debated topic that above all else involves someone making a choice, whether it be to continue with life or give up hope and die. This should be a choice that they make themselves. However, In the United States, The land of the free, only one

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide arguementive essay

578 words - 2 pages arguments for having euthanasia, assisted suicide legalized, and shows some of the problems with these opinions. It will than show the reasons for the introduction of laws that would allow these necessary acts of humanity.It has been argued, that euthanasia and physician assisted suicide may be the only opportunity for a terminally ill patient to end a life of suffering (Marker 2). Most adults, so the argument goes, live in cities and countries

Euthanasia Essay: The Hemlock Society and Assisted Suicide

1095 words - 4 pages Hemlock Society, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide   Dori Zook, Hemlock Society public relations director, claims that Hemlock supports legalization of physician- assisted death only in cases of terminal illness. And Hemlock's website asserts that the Society favors physician-assisted suicide strictly for someone "who is already in the dying process." But there is a glaring discrepancy between this official stance and what prominent

Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

799 words - 4 pages Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) and euthanasia raise ethical questions about the medicalisation of death (J Hardwig, 2006; Kavanaugh, 2000) and whether it is worse to kill a patient, or to let them die through omission of treatment (Kavanaugh, 2000). All have the same outcome – the death of the patient – the ethical dilemma arise when considering how the patient’s death occurred (Rachels, 1975). Allowing a patient to die from the cessation of

Euthanasia Essay - The Immorality of Physician Assisted Suicide

1121 words - 4 pages Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit, a highly controversial subject.  Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life. When a doctor helps another person to kill themselves it is called "physician assisted suicide" (Euthanasia.com 1).  This widely debated topic of assisted suicide is immoral and

Euthanasia Essay - Religious Views on Assisted Suicide

1225 words - 5 pages Official Religious Views on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide        This essay is dedicated to the expression of the various official views of religious bodies within our nation. Most major denominations are represented. These religions have long been the custodians of the truth, serving to check the erratic and unpredictable tendencies of political, judicial and social bodies which would have Americans killing off their elderly and

The Difference Between Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

870 words - 3 pages controversial article. The authors define the difference between physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. This source contains different viewpoints, written by various authors that contain information about both sides of the issue. They explain the certain factors to why patients may ask for assistance in their suicide. Their goal in the article, is to explain to the physician’s about the certain steps and protocols that are needed

Court Cases Assisted Suicide

1335 words - 5 pages euthanasia and physician-aided suicide (PAS) has intensified. for example both were made legal in the Netherlands since 2000 and Belgium since 2002 and only legal assisted suicide in Oregon since 1998 (Court Cases). The argument is not about letting people die naturally because we’ve always had that right; it is about giving the doctors permission to kill their patients regardless of the reason. Some might say physician-aided suicide or euthanasia

Similar Essays

Euthanasia Essay: The Ama And Assisted Suicide

926 words - 4 pages The AMA and Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide      The American Medical Association (AMA) has long been known for its strong views. As the issue of euthanasia, particularly doctor-assisted suicide, has come to the forefront, the AMA has taken a strong position on this controversial subject also. This time the AMA has taken a firm stand for preserving, not terminating, the life of the elderly/handicapped/depressed/mentally ill, etc. patient. This

Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia Essay

3181 words - 13 pages right to obtain a doctors help in ending their lives. Assisted suicide and euthanasia also called the right to die movement, which has either been barred by the law or has been prohibited by court rulings in almost every state. In 1997, the Supreme Court upheld two state laws that barred assisted suicide. The court ruled that the constitution sis not guarantee an individuals "right to die."Euthanasia must be legalized in a way that individuals are

Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia Essay

1222 words - 5 pages Assisted suicide brings a debate that involves professional, legal and ethical issues about the value of the liberty versus the value of life. However, before conceive an opinion about this topic is necessary know deeply its concept. Assisted suicide is known as the act of ending with the life of a terminal illness patients for end with their insupportable pain. Unlike euthanasia, the decision is not made by the doctor and their families, but by

Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Essay

869 words - 4 pages to fail to recognise that both active and passive euthanasia are equivalent and as such should both be allowed where a competent patient requests it. This is the position adopted in the Netherlands which recognises that advances in medical technology whilst leading to a longer life has not necessarily transpired to an equivalent in terms of quality of life. The Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act regulates both euthanasia and