Assisted Suicide Essay Research Paper Assisted Suicide

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Assisted Suicide Essay, Research Paper Assisted Suicide: Murder or Mercy? One of the most hotly debated topics going on now is the one concerning the ethics of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Nowadays with all the progress that the medical profession has gained, people who are terminally ill have more options, and there have been continued efforts to give them the “right to die” when they choose this option. I was interested in researching this topic because I think the debate has a lot to do with psychology, which I am very interested in. This dilemna has been hotly debated and I was open to seeing how this movement was progressing. Basically, in the beginning I was a proponent on this issue, and believed people should not be denied their wishes when they wanted to end

their pain. However, I was open to learning more about the opposite stance and what the reasons for opposition were. It always seemed unusual to me that suicide was not illegal, but yet it was illegal to assist in one even with a consenting party. I wondered how this could be, and how people could deny people this right in unending pain. There never seems to be a prosecution of doctors who participate in these acts, even though they frequently go to court. I wondered why this occured and what the laws really said regarding this. I also wondered how people distinguished between forgoing medical interventions and actually assisting in the suicide. As I approached the research, my main questions were regarding opposers. I really did not know all the problems that could occur.

Research about this brought to light many things that are not discussed in the media, although this is a highly publicized subject. I found that it is very difficult to bring the debate to an end because all the arguments are really just matters of opinion. Opposers and protestors have good arguments. No one really knows what would happen, so they just use opinions to predict it. Because of all the media attention, I will try not to discuss the many things that are already known. I found myself intrigued at what I didn’t know, and found my views profoundly affected. After reading current articles about what was going on legally and about cases, reviewing the history of this topic, and reading books showing the two opposing viewpoints, I have made my conclusions. I will show how

people are currently handling this and how they are being viewed. I will discuss the main arguments on both sides. Finally, I will show what I concluded from this and how my views have been altered by information that I did not know before. I will begin by explaining how the terms are defined. Euthanasia is taken from Greek roots and means “good death.”3 Active euthanasia is a direct and deliberate intervention to kill the patient. It is “intended to end the life of the competent, terminally ill patient who makes a fully voluntary and persistent request for aid in dying.”8 Voluntary euthanasia is when the patient requests the action, and it is involuntary if the patient is not mentally competent enough to make the right choice. Passive euthanasia is witholding treatment

from a patient. A physician assisted suicide is when the patient does the actual act, but the physician provides either enough information or the means to do it.8 One source defines it as a “desperate measure, justified only in exceptional cases where every effort has first been made to care for a dying person by other means.”4 The terms euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are usually used for the same thing and are not usually distinguished from one another. Usually the means of suicide is lethal doses of a poison such as pills, an injection, or gas. Motive causes euthanasia to be distinguished from murder, because its intent is merciful and is done out of kindness. The physician’s intentions can make considerable difference in regard to how their act will be