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Against Physician Assisted Suicide Essays

Legalizing doctor prescribed death is much like putting fire into a paper bag: it cannot be controlled. Here are some reasons to oppose it:

  • The "Choice" of Physician-Assisted Suicide Is an Illusion.

Laws allowing it are ripe for abuse. For instance, once the lethal prescription is handed to the patient, there is no accountability of what takes place next. A third party (including someone who stands to benefit financially from the patient's death) could administer the drug to the patient without patient consent, even if the patient changed her mind and struggled against the overdose. Laws do not require consent at the time of death, only consent to obtain the lethal prescription - a distinction which can give someone other the patient the power to decide when death occurs. In reality, there is no protected "choice" as proponents claim.

For example, Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow, Victoria, opposed Massachusetts' 2012 ballot measure to legalize assisted suicide, saying it would turn her husband's "vision for health care for all on its head by asking us to endorse patient suicide – not patient care- as our public policy for dealing with pain and the financial burdens of care at the end of life. We're better than that."

  • Physician-Assisted Suicide Is Not A Private, Personal Act.

Doctor prescribed death involves more than the patient. It necessitates a host of participants, including a doctor, a pharmacist and the state. It's a public act that requires medicine, law and society approve a lethal prescription that crosses the line between caring and killing.

  • Acceptance of Physician-Assisted Suicide Sends the Message that Some lLives Are Not Worth Living.

Social acceptance of physician-assisted suicide tells elderly, disabled and dependent citizens that their lives are not valuable. Doctors who list death by assisted suicide among the medical options for a terminally or chronically ill patient communicate hopelessness, not compassion.

  • Physician Assisted Suicide Creates Legal Opportunity for Hidden Elder Abuse.

Elder financial abuse is a documented fact, costing victims an estimated $2.6 billion each year and can serve as a catalyst for other types of elder abuse. Society-approved death puts elders at risk for abuse through include being coerced, pressured or even forced into suicide.

  • Doctor Prescribed Death Compounds the Discrimination Experienced by People with Disabilities.

Disability rights groups are some of the strongest voices against physician assisted suicide based on the experience of their community. According to disability rights leader, John Kelly, "As people with disabilities, we are already on the front line of a broken, profit-driven health care system which will naturally see a below $100 prescription as a cheaper alternative to experimental [and life extending] drugs."

What's to prevent a prescription from becoming the treatment of choice to offer terminally or chronically ill patients? Doctor prescribed death will always be the cheaper option.

  • The Practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide Creates A Duty to Die.

Suicide is not medical care.

Escalating health-care costs, coupled with a growing elderly population, set the stage for an American culture eager to embrace alternatives to expensive, long-term medical care. The so-called "right to die" may soon become the "duty to die" as our senior, disabled and depressed family members are pressured or coerced into ending their lives. At a time when health insurance coverage is in flux for millions of Americans (due to ObamaCare), discussions of legalizing doctor prescribed death seems especially dangerous. In a dollar-driven environment, it's too tempting for death to become a reasonable substitute to treatment and care when medical coverage is uncertain and medical costs continue to rise.

In Oregon, at least two patients receiving medical care under the state-funded Oregon Health Plan report being denied chemotherapy but offered assisted suicide.

Story of Barbara Wagner http://www.katu.com/news/26119539.html

Story of Randy Stroup http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/07/28/oregon-offers-terminal-patients-doctor-assisted-suicide-instead-medical-care/

  • There Are Better Medical Alternatives.

Palliative Care specialist, Dr. Dan Maison, says, "One phrase that gets under my skin and breaks my heart is when someone says, 'Well, they told me there is nothing more they could do.' There's always more we can do." Regarding Brittany Maynard, ""Actually, we take care of folks like her all the time, and we're able to keep almost all of them very comfortable," he said.

  • The Practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide Threatens to Destroy the Delicate Trust Relationship Between Doctor and Patient.

Every day patients demonstrate their faith in the medical profession by taking medications and agreeing to treatment on the advice of their physicians. Patients trust that the physicians' actions are in their best interest with the goal of protecting life. Physician-assisted suicide endangers this trust relationship by making physicians actors in a patient's death.

Copyright © 2014, 2017. Focus on the Family. All rights reserved.

Essay about Arguments against Physician-assisted suicide

1173 Words5 Pages

The United States is a nation founded on freedoms and liberties, giving each citizen the ability to make their own life decisions. This freedom includes all aspects of one’s life, including medical care. With freedom comes responsibility, and this is true in terms of physician-assisted suicide. The ongoing struggle between those in favor and those opposed to this subject has ravaged the medical field, bringing into question what is morally and ethically right. The fact of the matter is that physician-assisted suicide is neither morally nor ethically acceptable under any circumstance. Not only is it a direct violation of a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath, but it is not constitutionally binding. Physician-assisted suicide would also lead to…show more content…

This line directly refutes the idea of a doctor assisting in the suicide of another living being. By promoting physician-assisted suicide, doctors invalidate their pledge to be the best healer they possibly can. This, in essence, ruins their credibility and their reputation as a physician. The opposition to this idea states that the no harm claim within the Hippocratic Oath allows for a doctor to end a patient’s life if they are suffering. They claim that it is more harmful to the patient to suffer the pain and agony of a terminal illness than for doctors to assist in the death of their patient (Humphry). The problem lies with the definition of no harm. Hippocrates intended for doctors to heal their patients, not kill them. The Hippocratic Oath is clear when it states that no lethal drugs or other methods of assisted suicide should be practiced (“Greek Medicine”). Ignoring these principles goes against the Hippocratic Oath, degrading a doctor’s credibility and character. Not only does physician-assisted suicide discredit a doctor, but it is not constitutionally sound. Physician-assisted suicide has been brought to the attention of the Supreme Court on several occasions, in order to test the constitutional backing. The result is always quite similar: the Supreme Court rules against physician-assisted suicide. There was one particular supreme court case, Washington v. Glucksberg. The state of

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