Assisted Suicide Or Euthanasia Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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establishments are the medical associations whose members are dedicated to saving and extending life, and feel uncomfortable helping people end their lives. The third and last group are the ones concerned with disabilities, who fear that euthanasia is the first step towards a society that will kill disabled people against their will. Many faith groups and various religions believe that God gives life and therefore only God should take it away. Suicide would then be considered as a ?rejection of God?s sovereignty and loving plan?(DOBSON 2). This is an important belief for this member of one of these religious groups. They would probably never choose any type of suicide, including physician-assisted suicide, for themselves. For each deeply religious person in North America, there

are many non-religious or secular people. A large number of adults who have liberal religious beliefs treat euthanasia as a morally desirable option in some cases. There are also many secularist, atheist, and agnostics who disagree with religious based arguments. Many of these people would like to use suicide as an option in case they develop a terminal disease and life becomes unbearable. Do religious groups have the right to take their own personal beliefs and demand them to the entire population. Should the personal beliefs of some religious people decide public policy for all adults, including religious liberals, Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics, and rest of the population. Dr. Abraham Halpern, an ex-president of the American Association of Psychiatry and the Law, wrote an

article in the New York Times stating that ?Oregon?s Death with Dignity Act?.should be repealed. It greases the slippery slope and will surely result in undignified and unmerciful killings?(HALPERN). Dr. Gibson, the founder and president of Focus on the Family, also agreed, saying ?We will eventually be killing those who aren?t sick, those who don?t ask to die, those who are young and depressed, those who someone considers to have a poor quality of life, and those who feel it is their obligation to get out of the way?(DOBSON 5). These two intellectuals are making it seem that the Oregon law would permit roaming gangs of bureaucrats to visit nursing homes and decide which residents deserve to live and which to die. Of course, future legislation cannot be predicted, but the present

statues passed by Oregon are very specific in application. This process will never be used unless a patient specifically requests assistance in dying. For that reason many suffering patients and their families want it to be legalized. The big question is: Who will the set the standards and does it involve the potential for abuse should it become legal? The Mappe?s and DeGrazia?s Biomedical Ethics book, reviewed and used for reference by the Oregon Health Division, contains the proposed clinical criteria for physician-assisted suicide. These are the conditions one must follow before going through with the procedure (QUILL400-410). 1. The patient must have a condition that can not be cured be cured and must have severe suffering. In the first condition the patient must know and

understand what is going to happen to them. Someone must explain to them other comfortable alternatives. One cannot get assisted suicide if they have diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or multiple sclerosis. A doctor is not allowed to make a make final decision if there is any doubt about the patients condition or prognosis (401). 2. The physician must be sure that the patient is not requesting death because his or her comfort care is not good enough. In the second condition the request can not be a result of inadequate care. All measures of comfort must be considered if not tried before the physician-assisted suicide can be prepared (402). 3. The patient, of his or her own free will, must clearly repeat their request to die rather than suffering. If both the patient

and doctor decided that death is the best possible outcome then the doctor should encourage the patient. The physician must be certain that the patient is serious (402-403). 4. The patient?s judgement can not be distorted. The patient must be rational and able to understand the choice that he or she is making. Depression is a major factor that causes a patient?s judgement to be altered. Therefore the primary physician must request an expert psychiatric evaluation before proceeding with the process (403). 5. Physician-assisted suicide should only be carried out on the context of a meaningful doctor-patient relationship. This then helps the doctor understand the reason for the request. It is also highly recommended that the doctor actually witness the patient previous to his or her