Ethics and Legalities of Physician Assisted Suicide

By: Alex Chavez

Physician assisted suicide is a controversial topic with grand divisions among supporters and opposers. The people who support this course of treatment believe that people should have this option if faced with a terminal illness. Their course of thinking is that if one is living in pain with a deadly disease they shouldn’t have to be living their final days in agony. The people who oppose physician assisted suicide cite religious beliefs and claim that a cure might become available, and by expediting their death the patient is losing their opportunity at life. The practice of physician assisted suicide has been legalized in a handful of states throughout the Unites States with some limitations varying from state.

Dr. Kevorkian revolutionized and shook the medical community on June 4th, 1990 when he performed his first physician assisted suicide procedure on an Oregon school teacher who suffered from Alzheimer. After being arrested and released Dr.Kevorkian released a press conference informing the medical community on their obligation to assist their patients even with death. Throughout his career Dr.Kevorkian assisted more than a hundred patients with illnesses to reach a peaceful death. During the doctor’s crusade he faced starch resistance from various branches of government. In the end a court with jury members charged him with second degree murder in March 26, 1999.

The disputed subject of physician assisted suicide has long been contested. Most would agree that medical professionals have the obligation to provide this course of treatment to terminally ill patients. The practice which is currently legalized in a limited amount of states allows patients an opportunity to relieve themselves from the pain accompanied by their illness. The practice is currently undergoing legal obstacles in various states in order to become legalized. People continue to support this practice regardless of opposition, their goal being countrywide legalization.

Jessica Cisneros, Tulare Western Junior, said, ” I would prefer that people be given a safe way out of their pain, rather than them doing something else like killing themselves.”

Mario DeAnda, Tulare Western Junior,  said, ” I think they should be able to take a pill or something that a doctor can help them with so they could do it the right way.”

What do you think on the controversial issue ? Leave comment.


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