Have you ever heard a grown man cry; a cry so loud that you can hear and feel the pain within his voice? No, well it happens daily, here in the United States. There are thousands of people that are going through so much suffering that pain killers are like putting a band aid of a bullet wound. As hours pass the wound is getting bigger and the band aids are helping less and less. Most of these people just want a release, but even professionals cannot grant that request. Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is a controversial topic which is debated on through out the world.
(PAS) is a process where a doctor or nurse gives a lethal injection of medicine to a patient in need. But since this procedure is illegal, doctors are not allowed to aid an individual that is seeking a final release. This is the reason why terminally ill patients around the country are constantly tormented with pain and agony past their will. Assisted Suicide should be legalized in the United States because it will lead to less pain and suffering, less financial problems, and more time for the doctors and the patient’s family to get past this tragic event.
The history of assisted suicide is neither lengthy nor complex. Aided suicide has origins tracing all the way back to around the fourth century, when scholars estimate the Hippocratic Oath, an ethical vow taken by doctors, was written (Liecht). Part of the Oath states, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan” (Picket). What this statement is saying is that doctors are not legally or morally allowed to assist a terminally ill patient end his or her life. Within the last thirty years, however, instances of physician assisted suicide have been showing up all over the world.
In 1997, Oregon created the “death with Dignity” law that “allows terminally ill patients to commit suicide with lethal doses of prescribed medication (Picket). “At least now there’s a discussion around end-of-life care and what people want, and making sure they have access to hospice” (Dr. Hedberg). “People are talking to their physicians about being in pain. That dialogue has been improving in the state. I don’t want to say that it’s because we have the law. However, over the past 10 years, it has opened people up to thinking about end-of-life care and palliative care as an important aspect of medical care” (Dr, Hedberg).
So as years pass more and more terminally ill patients ask for the “end-of-life care” because of the pain and suffering they have to go through daily. Individuals that are at the end of their lives should have a voice to whether or not they should live painfully or die peacefully on their own terms. Everyday in the United States people decide to take their own lives so they do not have to go through sever problems health wise. For example, take the story of Edward Downes and his wife, Joan Downes was a successful maestro. He conducted the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Opera when he was at his prime.
In her prime, his wife had been a ballet dancer, as well as a choreographer. Recently, however, he had become nearly blind and his hearing was deteriorating very rapidly. Joan, his wife, had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Instead of living out the rest of their lives in pain and with the burden of the worsening medical conditions, the pair chose to use physician assisted suicide. The couple’s children were supportive and stated, “After 54 years together, our parents died peacefully and under circumstances of their own choosing” (Sciutto). Nine hundred and?
fty six usable responses relating to physician assisted suicide (PAS) and 957 in relation to family assisted suicide (FAS) were available. 84% of respondents supported legalization of (PAS) and 54% legalization of (FAS). This compares with 75% in favor of legalization of (PAS) in the US in 1994 and 73% in Australia in 1995 (O’Neil, Feenan, Hughes). These statistics are stating that the majority of the population that was given these questions believes that if assisted suicide were performed that they would want a professional performing this task.
Conversely, there are many barriers in making decisions about death among family members, including culture, education, knowledge of the health care system, and the delegating of all decisions entirely to the family (Haley). A family member of a patient stated that all she wanted was “another sane adult’ who could “talk in terms…that removed the taboo from the processes by giving a real clear picture of possible approaches without advocating [PAS]” (Spigel).
It is obvious that no relative would want to let a member of the family pass away without doing what ever is possible, so that the patient has every fighting chance to pull through. So the burden ways equally on the family, if not, more, because when it comes to assisted suicide grieving will last longer than pain every time. Once the procedure has taken place, the family members are the ones who have to take care of the patient after they are diseased. Along with pain and suffering, money is another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration when the discussion of Physician Assisted Suicide comes up, in an unfortunate conversation.
Every year more and more people are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and the financial toll of the medical bills that are increasing rapidly and the burden falls mainly on the loved ones of the patient. These high medical costs must be borne by the patient, the patient’s family, or the society to prolong life. Thus, the decision to not prolong death could be beneficial to all parties involved (Chan and Lien). The longer the families hold off on their decision, the longer the hospital bill will be.
Therefore the benefit of euthanasia is to avoid the realization of the negative cash flows (Chan and Lien). The older a person gets the easier it is to get seriously injured, so elderly people are more of a risk, and less of an award when they have to undergo medical procedures that might or might not save their lives. These trends will be cause for concern. Those elderly and infirm, who must rely on family and friends for care, feel particularly guilty about placing an extra financial burden on their loved ones (Odone).
The elderly, as a group, have lower income and are more likely to suffer medical conditions that require a large sum of money to cure or manage (Chan and Lien). This fact alone displays the benefits of having Physician Assisted Suicide as an option that is available at all times. So if someone over the age of sixty gets hurt or injured within your family, most of those expenses are coming out of your pocket. Most of this care is still provided by relatives and friends, while state financed care is available only for those with low incomes.
As a result, many pensioners are forced into selling their houses if they move into a nursing home, where the average cost is higher than what a majority of the people with medical problems have the ability to make. Some 2. 5 million elderly live below the poverty line (Odone). Denote Vt as the benefit of euthanasia at the time when terminal illness is diagnosed. Vt includes the cost of continued treatments avoided and the pain and suffering associated with the terminal illness that can also be avoided with euthanasia (Chan and Lien).
The t in Vt represents time, so as t goes up the value of Vt goes down. The shorter time it takes an individual to react to the unforgiving reality of terminal illnesses, the better off the patient and the patient’s family will be. So if anyone is considering Physician Assisted Suicide, it would be more beneficial to them if they would go through with procedure sooner than later. The disadvantaged are also hit by today’s recession, when euthanasia may be seen as a cost-effective way to treat not only the terminally ill but all those who require extra care and assistance, including the elderly (Odone).
Even though euthanasia is cheaper than keeping someone in the hospital, make sure that your situation is necessary for this process. So if euthanasia is available to you, do it for the right reason instead of thinking that is an easy way out. Consider the view point of a person that has a grandmother that was just diagnosed with a terminal illness. At first you will do what ever it takes to get your grandma back to tip top shape. But as time goes on, her situation is progressively getting worst and so are those bills that are stacking up on your kitchen counter.
All of a sudden you have dug a hole so big finically that you can barely feed your family let alone yourself. So paving the way for the early and speedy exit of the elderly and the infirm can suddenly seem like a practical and inexpensive solution (Odone). Last but not least, the emotional aspect of assisted suicide is one of the most important contributions in the making of this decision. The emotions of the patient are the reason why the topic of Physician Assisted Suicide even comes up in a conversation. The mental mindset of the nurses and/or doctors is the reason why the procedure actually takes place.
But the emotions of the patients’ loved ones will stay with them for as long as they will live. So the mindset of individuals called emotions are the reasons why (PAS) is needed and why it actually takes place. One doctor quoted a patient as saying, “I am going to come in and I am going to try to convince you. ” Another doctor said, “I learned very quickly that the patient’s agenda is to get the medication. When I tried to talk them out of it, or to really assess their motivations, then they perceived me as obstructionist and became quite resentful of that (Stevens).
” The minds of the patients are made up. These unfortunate individuals are more concerned about relieving the pain and stress they have been going through, than to worry about the suggestions of others. If the patients don’t care about another person’s opinion on life decisions their life, then why should the government say that nobody can end their life early because of medical reasons?
In a structured in-depth telephone interview survey of randomly selected United States oncologists who reported participating in euthanasia or (PAS), Emanuel reported 53% of physicians received comfort from having helped a patient with euthanasia or (PAS), 24% regretted performing euthanasia or (PAS), and 16% of the physicians reported that the emotional burden of performing euthanasia or (PAS) adversely affected their medical practice (Stevens).
An oncologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This observation of different doctors’ experience is stating that the majority of the doctors feel better when they know that they helped a person in need. Dr. Linda Ganzini described the painful experience of two patients whom she [as the evaluating psychiatrist] disqualified for the option of Oregon’s assisted suicide law. She stated:
“These disqualifications resulted in extraordinary pain and anger for both of the patients and their families, which interfered with much-needed opportunities to resolve other emotional issues (Stevens). ” Although the mindset of a patient is not as clear as is would be if they were healthy, these individuals are still capably of thinking for themselves. But if the patient is not stable, the physician should consult with the family.
But in this case, the doctor bypassed both the patient and the family’s choice when it came down to their daughters’ health. If both families agreed to have this procedure done on their loved one, then there should be not controversy with the decision by the doctor. Pain and anger is directed towards and felt by the evaluating psychiatrist. Such anger was energetically expressed by Kate Cheney, an Oregon PAS patient, whose evaluating psychiatrist told her, “You can’t make a decision for yourself and your life, because you are not in your right mind. ” Kate Cheney’s angry response was “Get out of my house.
I can’t believe you can tell me something like this (Stevens). ” A psychiatrist is a doctor trained in the treatment of people with psychiatric disorders. This situation is another instant where the doctor denies a patient of Physician Assisted Suicide because the evaluating psychiatrist claims that the person in need is not mentally capable to determine if the illness is great enough to perform (PAS). The anger from Kate has carried on to her daughter. That shows that the patient, Kate, was mentally capable to express her anger enough that, the same emotion was cared on to another generation.