Sarah is an 87-year-old woman with terminal cancer. With her old age and the terminal case that she is in, she has made peace with her upcoming death and receives care from a hospice nurse at her house. Although she strongly dislikes being sedated, she continues to be on a morphine pump to control the constant pain that she feels. Knowing that her death is approaching, she begs for a peaceful, quick death. If Sarah were to be attached to treatment, she could easily and legally discontinue it and thus end her life. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Her family and friends must stand back and watch as she suffers, without being of any help. This tortuous situation occurs everyday for terminally ill patients across the U.S., unless they live in Oregon, the only state that legally allows Physician-Assisted Suicide. Like in Oregon, Physician-Assisted Suicide should be legalized in all states for terminally ill patients that wish to end their life with the help of a physician.
Physician-Assisted Suicide can often be confused with the concept of Euthanasia.
Physician-Assisted Suicide is when the physician supplies the means and information of actually committing suicide—for example, providing carbon monoxide gas or a prescription for a lethal dose of sleeping pills—for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life. The main requirement for it to be regarded as Physician-Assisted Suicide is that the patient uses the equipment or medication himself or herself instead of the physician using it. On the other hand, Euthanasia would be when a physician administers medication or a treatment himself or herself, with the intent of ending the patient’s life. There are two types of Euthanasia: Passive and Active. Passive Euthanasia is the process of removing someone from life support or putting an end to medical procedures. This would be considered withdrawing life-sustaining treatments such as one’s food and fluid...