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Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal? Essay

1717 words - 7 pages

Should physician-assisted suicide be legal? This debated subject has no right or wrong answer. Assisting someone in death has a felony murder conviction in some cases. There are a few different ways of being charged, but there are certain circumstances. There are many reasons why I am for it and of course, I have reasons against it. When you have a loved one in a vegetative state, does the family say yes or no to “pulling the plug?” Is it not the same as assisting a person in death? Another reason is that if you have a chronic illness, no means to a cure, and no medical help, what do you do? I believe if you think there is no way to live by not having the means to live, then why not have someone help you end the pain.
When loved ones are lifeless and in a vegetative state with no means of speaking for themselves then the PAS is the way to go. In the case of Nancy Cruzen lasting eight years the medical expenses had to of financially put a burden on the family. At the age of adulthood when parents are not legally responsible for you, your drivers’ license should reflect on a choice of a PAS. If we can donate organs, why not speak for ourselves on a DNR, PAS, or hope. My choice would be after 2 weeks, let me go.
State Laws
Four states have assisted suicide listed as legal. Oregon, Vermont and Washington have legalized PAS via legislation, with Montana having legal physician-assisted suicide via court ruling. Thirty-nine states have laws prohibiting assisted suicide. Three states, Alabama, Massachusetts, and West Virginia and the District of Columbia prohibit assisted suicide by common law. Four states, Nevada, North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming have no specific laws regarding assisted suicide, may not recognize common law, or are otherwise unclear on the legality of assisted suicide. You can find a full reading of these on ProCon.org website (ProCon, 2013).
PAS
One of the most notorious end-of-life practices is “physician-assisted suicide” (PAS). Quoted by these authors that “This requires a physician providing a patient, at their own request, with a lethal dose of medication which the patient self-administers” (Ravs, Sterckx, Mortier, 2011). There has also been another recent end-of-life practice known as continuous sedation (CS). This is where a physician uses a sedative to reduce or eliminate the consciousness until the patient dies. Sedation at the end of life has played an important part in two decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Two cases went toward the PAS. First, there was The Cruzan Case in 1990 and The Glucksberg and Quill Case in 1997.
Nancy Cruzan
On December 11, 1983, 25-year-old Nancy Cruzan was in a serious car accident, thrown from her car and laid helpless on an isolated road in Southwest Missouri. Nancy was unconscious for some time after her accident. After two years and no progress, Nancy transferred to a state hospital for brain-injured patients. There was very little damage...

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