Assisted Suicide Or One Of The Most Controversial Topics

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Assisted suicides are one of the most controversial topics when it comes to ethics in the health care field. Assisted suicide and suicide are oftentimes compared and contrasted on how much of a difference is between the two and does one ethical overrides the other. By definition, suicide is the act of taking your own life, whereas assisted suicide is the act of taking your own life with the assistance of another person or a physician. Now ethically of course there are opinions on both sides of the spectrum on whether it’s ethical or unethical. Many argue that assisted suicide is very unethical and even goes as far as saying it is worse than regular suicide because it doesn’t absolve the patient of their culpability but leaves guilt on the physician (Cermak, 2019). 

Physicians and doctors came into the medical field to heal and help save people so do assisted suicide to violate their ethics and go against what they stand for? Tracy E. Miller, a health care attorney, states that people choose to end their lives for two reasons regardless of the fact that they are terminally ill or not; those reasons are untreated pain or depression. With both factors of untreated pain and depression, patients are left to believe they are stuck between the options to suffer or commit suicide. She believes this can be combated by more adequate health care solutions, for example, good medical care can give patients relief from pain and control over their medical destiny without creating the severe risks posed by assisted suicide (Thirteen Media, 2019). Her ideal ology is contrasted to that of Michael H. White, who also practices law and has quite the credibility he was the past president and member of the board of Death With Dignity Education Center, past-president of Americans for Death With Dignity, co-author of Proposition 161 (The California Initiative), and past co-chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Bioethics Committee. White believes that physician-assisted suicide should be a lawful medical procedure for competent, terminally ill adults because it is a compassionate response to relieve the suffering of dying patients. White goes on to explain how such a policy would be implemented in which an individual would only have the option of physician-assisted suicide only after all treatment options are exhausted, and if a mentally competent patient continues to request assistance in dying. Then a physician would be permitted to prescribe medication that the patient could use to hasten death at a time of the patient’s choice (Thirteen Media, 2019). Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons. Others are for it because of their compassion and respect for the dying. Assisted suicide typically only requests when the patient is in their final stages of subsuming to their illness therefore it should really be their decision. For many assisted suicides is the same thing as murder while others, feel it’s the act of putting someone to death painlessly, or allowing a person suffering from an incurable and painful disease or condition to die by withholding extreme medical measures (Lonestar 2019). One of the main arguments against it is that people are often time given an accurate survival estimate so that they may be acting prematurely based on inaccurate information (Chief, 2019). 

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Assisted suicide will always have opinions on both sides due to the fact that everyone has their own ethical options and you can’t really know the extent of how this argument should be decided unless you were once in the position to make that same decision. Although, both sides create compelling arguments I feel as though a person who is competent has the right to choose.


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