Nowadays the phrase ‘ kill me ‘ has been said countless times. It’s been one of the Most popular sarcastic jokes among people of today due to having a bad day or things not going as planned and hitting rock bottom. But what if worst case scenario we jinxed ourselves and one bad day leads to two, then a week, then a month, fast forward to a year and finally it comes down to your doctor telling you that you are terminally ill and your chances of living a normal life are nonexistent. The life we once took for granted is now ending very slowly and the pain is like no other, but your doctor tells you there is another option. A prescription to life-ending medication, in other words, assisted suicide, My point is it’s legit. It’s a very controversial topic for one alone, but what type of effect would it have on yourself and the people around you. The simplicity of answering yes and no between death is a very crucial decision that can not only affect our family members. Also how we see the profession of doctors and how we influence the community as a whole.
The law of assisted suicide is dying with the help of someone, most preferably a doctor or physician. This law basically lets the doctor prescribe a lethal drug to the terminally ill patients so they can shorten the lifespan of a dying patient. As of right now in the United States the dying law it’s only been legalized in 8 states such as Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, California, Montana, Vermont, Colorado, and Washington D.C… According to J Donald Boudreau (2011) in his article based on Physician-Assisted Suicide, he refers to it as ‘physician inflicted death’, he asks the readers to imagine medical schools teaching the students how to kill their patients. However, people consider it as a mercy killing, in other words, it’s letting people die with dignity.
Now imagine yourself in that situation, you as a Doctor have been trying to nurse your patients back to health and you’ve tried everything in the book only to help your Patient to their death. In an article by Peter Hudson (2017) speaking on the effects of assisted suicide, he describes how not all medicine prescribed is certain to take away all the pain. In Hudson’s (2017) evidence from overseas is that some people suffer allergic reactions to the medication and often resulted in vomiting, seizures, failure to experience immediate death. The longest assisted suicide recorded was in Oregon and it took about 104 hours, that’s more than 4 days of waiting for waiting for the so-called peaceful death that everyone says its suppose to be (Hudson, 2017).
In Hudson’s (2017 )article explains how although the law of assisted suicide does demand it to be done by a physician it doesn’t require the physician to be near the patient’s suicide making it more traumatizing for the families that have to witness their loved ones having unexplained side effects from the medicine. In addition, families aren’t the only ones being affected by the death law, but the physicians as well. As Hudson (2017) explains a survey of a randomly selected oncologist in the united states who participate in the law 24 percent regretted doing so, and 16 percent reported that the emotional burden of participating adversely affected their practice. Everything you pursued in the medical field has contradicted itself and its no longer about curing diseases but finding the easy way of out.
One of Boudreau’s examples in his article was describing how medical students would not only learn how all there is about treating their patients, but also how to end their patient’s lives. It shows a form negligence within the doctors and physicians by demonstrating that if they can’t cure their patients they can always help them commit suicide, but who is it really helping as one dutch clinician in Hudson’s (2017) article stated ‘ It is not a normal medical treatment. You are never used to it. ‘ the law states that it’s for the terminally ill yet it is causing more damage to the families and the physicians of these patients.
In Ryan Anderson’s (2015) report, he argues that the law of Physician-Assisted Suicide corrupts the practice of medicine he explains that a doctors motive is to ‘ Always care, Never kill. ‘, allowing the Physician aid to suicide to the whole country would be unfair and dangerous to the weak. The law would ruin the relationships between doctors and their patients. Anderson goes on and states ‘ PAS corrupts the profession of medicine by permitting the tools of healing to be used as a technique for killing. ‘ (Anderson, 2015), the most important part of working in the medical field has to be the trust between both the patient and the doctor. The law destroys that trust and it lets patients know that at any moment the doctor can give up on them and suggest assisted suicide if no treatments show any type of progress.
The purpose of medicine is to help heal others. Killing out of mercy is not the same as healing.
‘ Doctors cannot heal by assisting patients to kill themselves or by killing them. They rightly seek to eliminate disease and alleviate pain and suffering. They may not, however, seek to eliminate the patient.’ (Anderson, 2015)
People who view Physician-assisted suicide as a compassionate way of a peaceful death doesn’t see the sad reality of the law. By allowing doctors to prescribe life-threatening drugs to their patients it diminishes the value of life. This law changes how the healthcare looks at the terminally ill, disabled, and most of all the poor. A perfect example is in Anderson’s commentary when it talks about how assisted suicide is slowly becoming voluntary euthanasia, and how in the future can cause many deaths of infants in their first year of living. In 2013 Netherlands the commission said that ‘as many as 650 infants per year should be eligible for euthanasia on the basis of the children’s ‘poor prognosis and every poor expected quality of life’ (Anderson, 2016). That means infants who are born handicapped already have the option of assisted suicide without even having signs of conscious thoughts to think for themselves. We as human beings aren’t even giving infants a fighting chance to even let them live first instead we already label them based on their initial health.
Assisted suicide doesn’t respect the quality of life, while some patients get support to stay strong others get influence to take the easy way out. On a commentary of Anderson’s article assisting suicide corrupting medicine, the government in the Netherlands where assisted suicide is legal, know that patients that decide to follow with the procedure have been initially insisted the idea of assisted suicide. In the high court of Ireland in 2013, they stated ‘ The incidence of legally assisting death without explicit request in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland is strikingly high. ‘ (Anderson 2016). This misinterpretation between the patient and the what the law allows them to only to peer pressure patients to consider to go on with assisted suicide by making them think about the medical cost of their treatments instead of their own health.
In Burke, Balch, and Randolph article the main reason people choose assisted suicide according to a survey in Boston globe (1981) wasn’t because they couldn’t treat the patient’s illness, or not being able to live a normal life ever again or pain, but because they don’t want to a be a burden to anyone in their lives. That single misinterpretation changes the perspective of the people that are terminally ill and are offered the option of assisted suicide, instead of seeing it as this opportunity to die at peace they understand it as this is what’s best economically, making it a duty instead of an option. Any doctor that doesn’t have any remorse for their patients is no doctor at all, by letting doctors assist in suicide they no longer would be labeled as healers, but as death’s second-hand man. A leading scholar in the law of assisted suicide said that ‘Doctors and nurses reported that more request for euthanasia came from families than from patients themselves. ‘ (Anderson 2016).
In Burke, Balch, and Randolph’s article it speaks of how suicide is basically a cry for help and how the most people that do it have mental health problems. Those who want Assisted suicide only have to ask their physicians and decide to go through with it, in the other hand studies show that 93-94 percent commit suicide have suffered from a mental disorder. By making the law of assisted suicide legal to the whole country it would only worsen community who suffers from mental health. Suicide is more of test to find out who is really caring for them, legalizing would only promote the message that the system doesn’t care who commits suicide because everyone could do it easily, for those who do have mental disorders he or she have nobody to challenge and would make his or her lives more meaningless than he or she already feel it be. From that 93-94 percent of people with mental disorders suffer from schizophrenic panic disorders, alcoholism, psychiatric disorders, organic brain syndrome, schizophrenia, and drugs (Burke, Balch, and Randolph). All the disorders listed have treatments to overcome the pain, just like any other type of pain, but it’s the lack of support that the health care doesn’t provide for these patients.
The concept of the law of Assisted-suicide is debatable, patients who are out of luck of ever living a regular life will have the option to end their lives with dignity and at peace. But based on other countries have said, people normalizing the idea of assisted death for the sake of saving money or being a burden to their families is lowering the value of life and dehumanizing the way that all us as humans view one another. In conclusion, We aren’t burdened to anybody and that’s the main problem with the practice of this law that People view Assisted suicide as the quick cheap fix to all problems. The right of assisted suicide is the choice of the patient and not the nursing staff or family by legalizing assisted suicide it would only increase the lack of effort support for the patients
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