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Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal In America?

886 words - 4 pages

In America today, there is a considerable amount of debate on whether or not physician-assisted suicide should be legal nationwide. However, I believe the question is not just should physician-assisted suicide be legal nationwide, but instead, do we as human beings have the right to determine when we die? Personally, I believe we do have the right to determine when we die, so I support physician-assisted suicide. However, I also believe there should be regulations on when we should be able to make this decision. Humans should be able to do whatever they want with their life, and the government should not keep individuals who are in extreme pain and only have a few months to live from ...view middle of the document...

For instance, an individual who has a debilitating disease such as ALS or multiple sclerosis will experience the same if not more pain during their lifetime as an individual diagnosed with cancer with only six months to live (Gunderson and Mayo 18). Proponents of this position believe anyone with a debilitating, painful disease should be able to have access to physician-assisted suicide.
The second position I am going to talk about is yes, physician-assisted suicide should be legal, but it needs to be heavily regulated. Currently, physician-assisted suicide is only legal in three states, Washington, Oregon, and Montana (Ebrahimi 74). However, in these states there are many laws that safeguard the use of physician-assisted suicide which make it difficult to get and abuse. If physician-assisted suicide was to become legal nationwide, we would need these same safeguards in order to eliminate easy access. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is legal, a patient is “required to make two verbal and one written application which need[s] to be accompanied by a witness”, they must also “obtain the consent of two doctors” (Ebrahimi 74). In addition, the patient must be mentally competent enough to make such a decision (Ebrahimi 74). Lastly, many confuse physician-assisted suicide with euthanasia. In physician-assisted suicide, the doctor prescribes the patient with the lethal drugs and the patient takes them (Ebrahimi 74). These regulations help to keep physician-assisted suicide as an absolute last resort option.
The last position I am going to talk about is the anti-physician-assisted suicide...

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