Right to Die Law
Initiative 1000, Washington State
As we progress into the future, people continue to create technology, which allows for better life sustaining treatments for patients. In addition, there are those who embrace these life-sustaining technologies; however, there are others who do not want to suffer or burden their families financially or emotionally. In some states, physician-assisted suicide is considered illegal, while in other states, it is considered legal due to certain laws and regulations, also known as the right to die law. This policy is aimed in assisting terminally ill patients over the age of 18 to have their choice in how they die. These terminally ill patients have often times been terminally ill for years and have suffered tremendously. They deserve the option to be informed of all end of life care, including physician assisted suicide. It would be a shame if patients were kept alive against their will and occasionally in these situations patients will go to extremes to cause their death and Washington and Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act allows patients the option of physician assisted suicide and allows them to have complete control over the process. They are allowed to rescind their request at any point and they also have the option after being prescribed the lethal medication of not actually ingesting it. This part of the law allows patients to have control over their care and have power in a very vulnerable and questionable situation. According to Atlmann and Collins (2007), the development began in 1967 when people started writing a living will on what actions to take if they were to become in competent and terminally ill; in addition, the first right to die bill was brought up in Florida, which have been rejected many times. The subject of a patient’s right to die was further discussed in 1976 when the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan fought to take her off of life support. It was said that this was a form of murder and that the parents had no right to sustain her from treatment and should have prolonged her life. The Hemlock Society was founded in the 1980’s, where members supported the right to die and self-autonomy. The Hemlock Society distributed right to die information and launched a campaign to support autonomy. In the 1990s, public opinion polls were conducted and it was found that people were more afraid of being kept alive, while suffering, than dying. This poll allowed for others to understand how significant the Right to Die law was. Washington’s Death with Dignity Act was passed on November 4, 2008 but did not go into effect until March 5, 2009. It legalized physician-assisted suicide in the state of Washington. This law replicates the Oregon Death with Dignity law that was passed on October 27, 1997. Even though this law replicates Oregon’s Death with Dignity law the state of Washington has regulations that must be followed to make sure that this law is not abused and everything operates smoothly. Not only do the medical professionals have safeguards to follow but so do the patients requesting the medication. Most of the patients usually request physician assisted suicide with the nurses that help them with their daily activities but the nurses have nothing to do with this procedure. In order to officially make a request for this procedure the patient must be at least 18 years old, a resident of the state of Washington, and must have been diagnosed terminally ill or only having six months to live. If the patient meets those requirements they must then make an oral and written request to their physician, which must be signed and dated by the patient and two other witnesses, one of whom must not be a relative, attending physician, or anyone working at the health facility that the patient is being treated. After the first initial oral request a second one must be made within 15 days to the same attending physician, if at any time the patient changes his...
...PRO (yes) CON (no)
The American Civil Liberties Union stated in its 1996 amicus brief in Vacco v. Quill that:
"The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. In particular, this Court's recent decisions concerning the right to refuse medical treatment and the right to abortion instruct that a mentally competent, terminally ill person has a protected liberty interest in choosing to end intolerable suffering by bringing about his or her own death.
A state's categorical ban on physician assistance to suicide -- as applied to competent, terminally ill patients who wish to avoid unendurable pain and hasten inevitable death -- substantially interferes with this protected liberty interest and cannot be sustained."
1996 - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Margaret P. Battin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah,...
The Right to Die
In today’s society, the rapid and dramatic development of medicine and technology has allowed us to save more lives than was ever possible in the past. Medicine enabled us the means to cure or to reduce the suffering of people afflicted with diseases that were once fatal or painful. At the same time, however, medical technology has given us the power to sustain the lives (or, some would say, prolong the deaths) of patients whose physical and mental capabilities cannot be restored, whose degenerating conditions cannot be reversed, and whose pain cannot be eliminated. As medicine struggles to pull more and more people away from the edge of death, the plea that tortured, deteriorated lives be mercifully ended grows louder and more frequent. Euthanasia has become a provocative subject because of its past, present and future status among todays families.
Euthanasia is a controversial topic, not only because there are many moral delemmas associated with it, also in what it constitutes its definition. At the extreme ends of disagreement, some schools of thoughts aid in dying, is a merciful act of dying and at the other end, there are opponent of euthanasia who believe that this method is a form of murder. The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek word ‘eu’ meaning “good” and ‘thanatos’ means death.
"In ancient Greece and Rome, before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward infanticide, active...
...Right to Die Overview
What is the right to die? The right to die is also called euthanasia, which is also known as assisted suicide. Euthanasia means that someone has taken a deliberate action with the intention of ending a life to relieve unstoppable suffering. Some may say it is known as ending one’s life in a painless manner, while others would disagree because a reference should be included on the unstoppable suffering.
There are two main classifications of assisted suicide: Voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is conducted with the consent of the person that wishes to take their life, while involuntary euthanasia is conducted without the consent of the person that wants it. With involuntary euthanasia the decision is made by another person because the other is incapable of saying yes or no for him or herself.
There are two procedural classifications of euthanasia: Passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is when life-sustaining treatment is withheld, whereas active euthanasia is where lethal substances or force is used to end someone’s life. Active euthanasia includes life ending actions done by the patient or somebody else. Active euthanasia has become a much more controversial subject than passive euthanasia.
Some people are torn by the religious, moral, ethical and compassionate arguments surrounding the past and...
...The phrase “The right to die” means the ethical or institutional entitlement of the individual to commit suicide or to undergo voluntary euthanasia.( Right to die, - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 6 April 2012) It is one of the topics that has been debated over centuries. It starts from the 1950s, which arise from a small group of thinkers and writers in the United States and Europe, they began to argue about the choice that allows the patients to end their life by themselves in the case of surviving with those life support, in the case of the terminally ill, and many more. The acceptance of these arguments expand in the 1960s as the civil rights movement, the sexual revolution and other social movements helped to expand notions of personal freedom. While In the 1970s, this “right to die “has became an issue in the national stage due to the highly publicized 1975 case of Karen Ann Quinlan, who is a 21 year old woman that had fallen into a coma and she is unable to survive without the help of an artificial respirator. In this case Quinlan's family wants to remove her life support but it is thwarted by her doctor, leading to a lawsuit and a ruling by the Supreme Court that patients and by extension their families, they have a right to remove her life support. (Wired 2012) As “the right to die” has became an issue in the world,...
...The Right to Die Modern medical technology has made it possible to extend the lives of many far beyond when they would have died in the past. Death, in modern times, often ensures a long and painful fall where one loses control both physically and emotionally. Some individuals embrace the time that modern technology buys them; while others find the loss of control overwhelming and frightening. They want their loved ones to remember them as they were not as they have become. Some even elect death to avoid burdens of lingering on. They also seek assistance in doing so from medicine. The demands for assisted suicide and euthanasia are increasing (Kass 17). These issues raise many questions, legal and ethical. Although neither assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal, many people believe they should be. A great number of those people may never be faced with the decision, but knowing the option would be there is a comfort (Jaret 46). For those who will encounter the situation of loved ones on medication, being treated by physicians, sometimes relying on technical means to stay alive arises a great moral conflict. I wish to explore this topic on ethical, not legal issues. Do people have a right to choose death? More in particular, are euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide morally legitimate? Euthanasia involves a death that is intended to benefit the person who dies, and requires a final act by some other person, for example, a...
...The Right To Die
Imagine that you have come down with a disease and you have just been told that there is no cure. There in your hospital bed all you can think about is the pain and the agony you are going to have to endure for the rest of your remaining life. I for one know that I do not want to spend my last times on this earth in pain and discomfort, knowing that I will never walk again, or feed myself, or maybe ever even come back to consciousness. For years, doctors have been prohibited from helping patients to take their own lives. I believe that a terminally ill patient should have the right to decide if they have had enough. By legalizing euthanasia, also referred to as physician assisted suicide, tremendous pain and suffering of patients can be saved. The right to die should be a fundamental freedom to each person. Patients should have to right to die with their dignity intact rather than have their illness leave them as merely a shell of their former selves. These are just a few of the reasons as to why every individual should have the right to die if they are terminally ill.
Numerous ailments such as certain types of cancer result in a slow, agonizing death. Doctors have enough knowledge and experience to know when a patient's days are numbered. What purpose would it serve to suffer endlessly until the body finally gives out?...
...The Right to Die
Mr. Tang Siu Pun, who was nicknamed “Ah Pun”, was once a gymnast. Unfortunately, he had become paralyzed after the accident during his gymnastics display in 1991. After getting injured, he had once sent a letter to the Former Chief Executive, Tung Chee Hwa, asking for legalizing euthanasia. His act had successfully aroused Hong Kong people’s concern. Life, not only especially Tang’s, is tough for those suffering from terminally illness, but euthanasia is a way to save them from the living hell.
Death, for those who are against legalizing euthanasia, means the end of a life, and the total and permanent cessation of all vital functions of an organism (Dictionary.com, 2013). However, for us, who support euthanasia, have a different understanding. When life is suffering and pain, death is the solution and measure for a better life. There three major groups of people who ask for euthanasia, those who are asking for ending the pain that they have suffered, people ask for happiness and people ask for human rights.
Euthanasia, which is also called mercy or assisted killing, is a measure for patients to stop the suffering. Cancer patients and other patients who unfortunately get long-term diseases, or like Tang, becoming paralyzed, have to take many different surgery and therapies, for example chemotherapy, radiotherapy and electrotherapy. From all the medical personnel, we know that cancer or other...
...The Right to Die
(BUSI - 3005 - 1)
Dr. Jerry Griffin
July 14, 2013
CLEAR STATEMENT OF ARGUMENT
The right to die should be legal. Being forced to live a life that is unbearable is a violation of that person’s right to live and die as they see fit. Many countries permit euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide. Euthanasia “can quickly and humanly end a patient’s suffering allowing them to die with dignity” (rsrevision.com, 2011) The quality of life is the main issue surrounding the right to die. The cost to keep a terminally ill person alive is very expensive. This can be a burden on the family.
PREMISE OF ARGUMENT
People with terminal illnesses have unbearable pain and suffering. Large medical bills are accumulated when terminally ill patients go in-and-out of the hospital to try and ease their suffering. Thus, increasing economic affliction for the surviving family.
CONCLUSION SHOULD BE
Therefore, we should legalize the right to die for those suffering of terminal illness due to the cost, pain, and suffering.
THE RIGHT TO DIE: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Blocher, Mark. The Right to Die? Caring Alternatives to Euthanasia. Chicago: Moody, 1999.
Though the "death with...