Therefore when a doctor tells you that you have maybe six month s to live what are you supposed to do then? Wait to die, or start thinking about wh t actual choices you have. A lot of you may have heard of Brittany Maynard, the girl who wanted to end her life at the age of 29? If you haven’t then here is a li ttle background. Brittney was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in it’s most severe stage with no cure. She found this out because she was getting severe headaches and went to find out what was wrong. Walking out of the doctors office her life has changed forever.
She found out she had only six months to I and with that she decided to move from her home in California to Oregon whi ch is one of the five states currently in the united States that allow Physician Quigley 2 Assisted Suicide to make the decision to pass peacefully surrounded by her 10 ved ones. Therefore today will explain and pass my knowledge of what Physician Assisted Suicide is, the process of it and where it is legal. At first when I heard about Brittany s Story I couldn’t believe that someone that young would want to die until I read more into detail of what she was going through.
Then I was abl to understand more and truly think and consider what options people really d have when it comes to us wanting to die on our own. came to the conclusion that it really isn’t much. Many states, forty five of them do not allow Physician Assisted Suicide, for example “Alaska, Arizona and Hawaii consider assisted suicide illegal and they treat it as manslaughter” (Procon. org). There is many more states that consider it illegal and treat it as Class or D felonies. Eve some states will imprison someone and fine them for trying to die with dignit y even if they are terminally ill.
Now I want all of you to imagine laying in bed, sick and unable to get out unassisted. Imagine always feeling like a burden on someone elses life becaus you are always in need of help. That someone needs to bathe you, feed you, hange you and more. Now apply that to you ever developing a life threatenin g illness and being in extreme physical pain with six or less months to live. Quigley 3 Wouldn’t you want the right to ask your physician to end that misery and suffering? Because dying in your sleep is just not that option.
Think about it while I go further more in first describing what Assisted Suicide and Euthanasi a is. Then next discussing where it is legal and finally I will examine the exact process of what happens from the first thought of the decision until the end. There is types of Assisted Suicide that might get confusing to some. One being Physician Assisted Suicide also known as P. A. D and the other being Euthanasia. Physician Assisted Suicide is “helping a person kill him or herself'(Drexel. edu).
Meanwhile Euthanasia is “intentionally causing the death of a person with the motive being to benefit that person or protect him or her fr further suffering'(DrexeI. edu). The main difference “between this and euthan asla is that in assisted suicide the patient is in complete control of the process that leads to death” meaning the person who is performing the task gets a prescri ption for lethal drugs then is in full control to change his or her mind to actually tak it and perform the act of suicide. “The other person simply helps (for example, providing the means for carrying out the action)”(Drexel. du). There are many people who are against this choice and there is a lot of people who fight for the right to die with dignity, Therefore next I will explain Where Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia is legal. Starting with the fiv Quigley 4 states have mentioned before New Mexico is the last state that joined the gr oup in January of 2014. “New Mexico authorized doctors to provide lethal prescriptions and declared a constitutional right for a competent, terminally il atient to choose aid in dying’ (NYTimes).
In May of 2013 Vermont Legislature passed a law permitting it and “joining Montana, Oregon and Washington” (NYTimes). Since more people are becoming aware of their choices and learni ng more about Assisted Suicide “advocated are strongly promoting “death with dignity’ bills in Connecticut and other states. A lot of you might wonder if it is legal in New York and the answer is no, If someone gets caughts intentionally causing or helping another person commit suicide the “New York Penal Law is $125,000 and the person becomes guilty of manslaughter in the second degr NY Times).
So whether you believe or don t believe in the choice of P. A. D or Euthanasia, the process of it is very thorough it’s not that simple to get permission for it. The process of Assisted suicide starts with the patients eligibility. ‘The patient has to be 1 8 years of age or older and they have to be a resident of th state that considers it legal. They also have to be diagnosed with a terminal ill ness that will lead to death within six months and the patient has to be capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him or herself. ” Quigley 5 (Procon. org) This doesn’t stop here.
There is an actual request timeline for assisted suicide. “First the patient needs to orally request it from the physicia then there is a 15 day waiting period and once again for the second time orall request it from the physician. After that the patient needs to write a request t o the physician and finally after that there will be a 48 hour waiting period before th patient can go and pick up the prescribed medication” (Procon. org) While that only the patients side of what they have to do. The physician have a lot on the plate too. Of course the physician “must be licensed” in the same state as the patient.
The physicians diagnosis must include an illness with six or less mont to live. Also the diagnosis “must be certified by a consulting physician, who m ust certify that the patient is mentally competent to make and communicate heal th care decisions”. The best part is that they don’t take this lightly which makes feel comfortable with our medical system. “If either physician determines that the patient’s judgment is impaired, the patient must be referred for a psychologic examination”. Following that the attending physician must inform the patient alternatives, ‘fincluding hospice and pain management options”.
The final part that the “physician must request that the patient notifies their closest living relative of the prescription request” (Procon. org). As you can tell this process i Quigley 6 not simple for both the patient, their relatives and physicians. It’s complicated and taken very serious. So today have covered the difficult and very loaded topic on Assisted Suicide. I went over the full meaning of Assisted Suicide and the difference between it and Euthanasia. I also covered where it is legalized and lastly I explained the full process of assisted suicide in states that allow it.