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Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1404 words - 6 pages

Christina Robbins awakens screaming as she clinches the railing of her hospital bed while excruciating pain radiates through her weakened body. Christina’s husband and two teenage daughters sit on the couch in the corner of her dimmed hospital room. In just three months, Christina went from a completely healthy lawyer to lying in her deathbed needing 24 hour care. The cancer has now spread from her lungs throughout her body and within days would reach her brain. The doctors have tried to keep Christina’s pain under control, but with all the medicine the slightest touch feels like razor blades scraping her skin. Being a terminal patient is rather difficult to come to terms with, leaving ...view middle of the document...

For someone choosing Physician Assisted Suicide is a very personal decision, and it should be a freedom of choice.
Journalist Angelia Martin wrote an article for The Baltimore Evening Sun insisting that Physician Assisted Suicide should remain illegal. She states, “We did not bring ourselves into existence, nor can we claim the power that makes our lives continue. We do not own our lives. We have no right to end them” (McCuen 159). She is stating patients do not have the right to choose to end their own lives. However, it is the patient’s choice to deny care ultimately causing death. By choosing not to be resuscitated, not to have feeding tubes or to be put on a ventilator. Yet choosing to end a life without pain should not be allowed? Marcia Angell, MD, has pointed out in a New England Journal that, “It seems illogical and callous to acknowledge that a patient's interest may be best served by a peaceful death and then fastidiously to avoid helping to bring it about” (Weir 229). Somehow it is anticipated that patients are to leave this world the same way they entered it. Being helpless, unable to control themselves or situations surrounding them. Physician Assisted Suicide can offer patients a way to exit the world in control and have a reassurance with death.
Physician Assisted Suicide ceases one pain and suffering. The American Civil Liberties Union writes, “It should be legal for doctors to take direct action to end a patient’s life when there is no hope for a cure and the patient requests a merciful end to a needless suffering” ( McCuen 57). Physician Assisted Suicide gives patients a choice to die with their dignity still intact and relief from uncontrollable pain. Patients may suffer weeks before dying having their pain treated with medicine a lot of times causing side effects treated by more medicine because Physician Assisted Suicide is an illegal choice. Sometimes terminal patient’s pain can be so severe that the only way to stop it is by keeping the patients in a state of total unconsciousness. Dr.Pieter Admiraal states, “Every patient has the right to judge his or her suffering as unbearable and the right to ask for assistance in dying” (McCuen 72). No one but the patients can truly feel their own pain, and for some it is simply to overpowering. Patients should have the choice to ask a trust worthy medically trained professional for help and assistance with Physician Assisted Suicide.
Critics such as Dr. Herbert Cohen states, “Helping a patient die is a never a good medical practice” (McCuen 62). While Dr.Cohen sees two bad possibilities there is really only one. The one bad possibility would be watching patients die in agony asking for help that they will not receive. Being a doctor is about helping people in pain and if patients are dying why not help them end their life in a painless way. Dr. Timothy Quill states, “Although I know we have measures to help control pain and lesson suffering, to think that people do not suffer in...

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