Details On Physician Aided Death

| Friday, May 15, 2015
By Tammie Caldwell

While there are many people who do not want to die, especially at their own hand or that of another, assisted suicide is a topic that has long been discussed. It is defined as suicide that is committed with help of another individual. When the other person is a doctor, this is referred to as physician aided death. This occurs when doctors intentionally and knowingly provide an individual with the means or knowledge to kill themselves.

Physician-assisted suicide, or PAS, refers to doctors who give counsel on lethal dosage of drugs, prescribe these doses or supply them to their patients. Another term, or euphemism, used to describe this process is assisted dying. This practice should not be confused with the term euthanasia or mercy killing. In those cases, the physician administered the death through use of a lethal drug.

PAS is done with the consent and request of patients. These individuals will self-administer what is needed to cause the death. This is an interest for a lot of people. The conversation associated with this touches on a number of issues related to law, religion, morals, society and ethics. This practice, after all, involves a form of suicide and murder.

Some people may wonder what drives people to this decision. Often times people requesting this have life-limiting sicknesses or chronic illnesses. They might have lost sight of hope in regaining control of their health situation and life. Plus, many feel physical pain and overall discomfort that cannot be remedied. Aided death might be a way that they feel they have some control again, being able to choose how they want to end their lives.

This type of suicide has been legalized in Australia, Japan and Columbia, but there are many places around the world that prohibit it. It is considered an illegal practice that stirs a lot of controversy. Still, people suffering may find that this is the best and only option they want. They may welcome the idea of death because it seems like a better reality than living in pain and waiting to pass away. It might also be a decision that their families respect and encourage, based on what they understand about the situation.

Many seek this out because they believe that they cannot improve their quality of life. They may be in such a condition that the physical suffering has greatly reduced overall happiness and sense of well-being. Frustration is a common emotion felt by these patients. This is particularly common if there is no solution for their condition and their life cannot be spared through medicine. Opponents have concerns, including: slippery slope argument, public safety risks, role of physicians, medical and religious ethics, and prejudice against people who are disable.

People interested in learning more about this are encouraged to do research. There are numerous resources that provide information on this topic. Although there are many who are against this act, there are also organizations in support of PAS.

Knowledge about this process is fundamental to forming an opinion about it. Many feel this is not the answer, but they are not in the same position as the people who consider it. Suicide can be difficult to understand and accept.

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