Assisted Suicide Essay Research Paper IntroductionAssisted suicide

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Assisted Suicide Essay, Research Paper Introduction Assisted suicide (or Euthanasia) is a topic undergoing serious debate. There exist two obvious and definite opinions regarding this controversy. The anti-euthanasia faction consist of:  Conservative religious groups. They are often the same organizations that oppose access to abortion.  Medical associations whose members are dedicated to saving and extending life, and feel uncomfortable helping people end their lives.  Groups concerned with disabilities, which fear that euthanasia is the first step towards a society that will kill disabled people against their will. These groups bring both a religious and professional ethics perspective to the opinion that physician assisted suicide should be prohibited by law. The

other side of the debate over euthanasia is those individuals who follow the convictions of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and the Right to Die organization. The book Prescription: Medicine (1993) is an interesting, yet controversial book about physician assisted suicide. Authored by the only physician known to provide assisted suicide to terminally ill patients, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the book brings up some topics of heated debate. Kevorkian discusses his Suicide Machine, reasons for assisted suicide, and some of the cases he has supervised. The Proponents for Euthanasia In his book, Dr. Kevorkian explains the ancient roots of euthanasia and his invention of the Suicide Machine. He gives examples of how doctors in the time of the Pythagorean readily gave poison to any patient who requested

it. Kevorkian tries to justify assisted suicide by carefully stating the words of the Hippocratic Oath. He also thoughtfully interprets both the laws and the oath in order to make it look like they agree with his ideas. One justification for assisted suicide that Kevorkian uses is that of a proclamation by a medical committee that it is ethical for physicians to help terminally ill patients commit suicide. Only, he doesn?t make it very obvious that the committee is part of a special interest group known as the Society for the Right to Die. This committee was obviously biased because of its affiliation with the organization. There could be some complicated problems if physicians were allowed to perform euthanasia at anytime on anybody who wanted it. The biggest problem might be if

someone is mentally and physically incapacitated to the point where they can?t make decisions on their own, and they want to die, who is really making the decision? Are they deciding or is it their greedy relatives that want the inheritance? Absolutely no one has the right to choose who gets to live or who gets to die. Advocates of voluntary euthanasia contend that if a person is meets the following criteria then there should be legal and medical provision to enable her to be allowed to die or assisted to die. The individual must be: 1.) suffering from a terminal illness 2.) unlikely to benefit from the discovery of a cure for that illness during what remains of their life expectancy 3.) as a direct result of the illness, either suffering intolerable pain, or only has available a

life that is unacceptably burdensome (because the illness has to be treated in ways which lead to her being unacceptably dependent on others or on technological means of life support) 4.) have an enduring, voluntary and rational wish to die (or has, prior to losing the competence to do so, expressed a wish to die in the event that conditions #1 – #3 are satisfied); and 5.) unable, without assistance, to commit suicide The major argument is that people possess the right to end their own lives if they wish to. There is no laws or regulations outlawing it and the action harms no one other then the individual who commits suicide. Advocates of euthanasia believe that death is preferable for people whose quality of life has shrunk to zero, find the indignities of being cared for as