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Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide remains a highly controversial issue. While some view it as a moral issue that goes against medical ethics and religious beliefs, others view it as an individual right and more about money than morals. As one critic of recent government intervention in OregonÆs Death with Dignity Act, granting an individual the right to physician-assisted termination of life, notes: ôMore money and therefore more profit for the drug companies can be made by keeping a person alive longer. This is not a moral issue for President Bush and the gang, itÆs a money issueö (Davis 2001, B10). Attorney General John Ashcroft is one of the ôgangö trying to reverse the Oregon law permitting assisted suicide. This analysis will address physician-assisted suicide, explaining why the issue needs to be resolved through public policy that allows terminally ill individuals the right to die.

Assisted suicide is a concept growing in popularity among many segments of the American population. Terminally ill patients are seeking the right to end their lives with dignity, without pain, and before all of their resources are drained from care that will not improve their quality of life. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is perhaps the nationÆs biggest advocate of assisted-suicide, being charged with first-degree murder after euthanizing Thomas Youk, a victim of Lou GehrigÆs disease, a euthanizing that was aired on 60 Minutes (Sullivan 1998, 003). People who suffer from Lou GehrigÆs disease are given a five-year life expectancy and suffer horribly debilitating deterioration of the nerves and muscles before finally losing the ability to breathe or even swallow on their own. At this point they typically die from asphyxiation or choking. There is no cure, extreme pain, and no ability to move oneÆs limbs. In essence, oneÆs conscious mind is trapped inside a decomposing body. Still, many people feel assisted suicide is against medical and religio...

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Physician Assisted Suicide. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:51, December 07, 2021, from