Watching needing to depend on people, medicines and machines

Watching a loved one suffer with a terminal illness is painful and heartbreaking, but being the person who is living with the terminal illness is even worse. The torturous physical pain, the excruciating emotional pain, and the insulting feeling of constantly needing to depend on people, medicines and machines causes many terminally ill patients to lose all hope and eventually want to give up. When a patient finally wants to give up and peacefully leave this world, why can’t they?…. Physician assisted death, also known as physician assisted suicide, is a practice in which a terminally ill patient requests a doctor to provide them with a lethal medicine to end their suffering and ultimately put them at rest. In America, its is up to the states to decide on the laws concerning physician assisted suicide, but the majority of states prohibit this practice. However, physician assisted suicide should be legal in all states and by restricting the practice, states are infringing upon the liberty interests guaranteed to people by the due process clause in the fourteenth amendment. Out of the 50 states in America, the only states that have legalized physician assisted suicides are Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Washington, Montana, and California. It is also legal in D.C. The laws that permit physician assisted suicide are known as Death with Dignity Acts. In the past different people have challenged the state laws prohibiting physician assisted suicide by claiming that it violates their liberty interests guaranteed by the due process clause in the 14th amendment. The Due Process clause guarantees that no state can deprive any person of life, liberty, and property without due process of the law. The most important words are “no state can deprive any person of life.” As individuals, we should have to right to our own lives, and if we really have no hope, we should be able to end it. When a terminally ill patient, knows that they have a couple of months – months filled with pain and suffering – why do they not have the right to end their life? Many cases have been argued by physicians claiming that people should have to right to a physician assisted suicide, without charging the physicians with a felony. The most notable case was …Talk about the cruzan case and ok for people to refuse death and die a faster, but more painful death, then it should be ok for physicians to help patients speed up the process and make it more comfortable for patients.Physician assisted suicide should not be prohibited in any state and the states that do prevent it are infringing on people’s liberty interests. Liberty interests are those that are guaranteed to people in the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment. Physician assisted suicide should be legal in all states because it is a safe medical practice which reduces pain for patients. Even the Supreme court has deemed physician assisted suicide a safe medical procedure in Oregon. In the court case Gonzales v. Oregon, Attorney General Ashcroft argued that the Death with Dignity Act passed in Oregon violated the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA). Ashcroft claimed that he would fine and revoke the medical licenses of any physicians who administered lethal drugs to their patients, even if their patients were asking them too. The case went to the Supreme Court and the Court ruled that the Attorney General had no authority to prohibit the Death with Dignity Act and that the physicians could not have their licenses revoked because it did not violate the CSA. “The CSA allows prescription of drugs that have a ‘currently accepted medical use’…’requires a medical purpose’….and defines a ‘valid prescription’ as one ‘issued for a legitimate medical purpose.’ Similarly, physicians are considered practitioners if they dispense controlled substances ‘in the course of professional practice'” (  https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/546/243/ ) . The Supreme Court ruled that physician assisted was an accepted medical practice in Oregon. Since physician assisted suicide is a safe practice it should be legal in all states. Patients should have the ability to end their suffering if they want to. When states prohibit this practice, they are infringing on people’s liberty interests which are guaranteed to everyone in the 14th amendment. In the court case Cruzan v. Director of Missouri, Nancy Cruzan was a patient in a vegetative state. In order to live, she needed a feeding and hydration tube. Her parents asked the hospital to take her off the tubes, so that essentially they would terminate her life. However, the hospital employees refused and the case went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that the hospital could refuse to terminate Cruzan’s life because she was medically incompetent and there was no evidence that she had ever requested to have her life terminated. The court claimed that ” A competent person has a liberty interest under the Due Process Clause in refusing unwanted medical treatment… it is assumed that a competent person would have a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition” (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/497/261/). Tough the court ruled that Cruzan could not termiante her life because she was incompotent, they never prohibited the practice. In the Gonzales v. Oregon state, the Supreme Court even upheald the Death with Dignity Act and ruled that it was perfectly legal for people in Oregon to refuse treatment or have physciain assisted suicide. Therefore, if a person is competent, they should be able to terminate their life……There are still many people who believe that physician assisted suicide should be prohibited in all states. One of the main arguments they make is that physicians who assist their patients with suicide are violating the hippocratic oath they had to take before becoming a physician. The American Medical Association claims that “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks” (https://www.tfpstudentaction.org/blog/10-reasons-to-ban-assisted-suicide) . However what these people don’t realize is that in the oath doctors take, the line “I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism” (https://euthanasia.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=000198). No doctor wants their patient to die, but at the end of the day everything they do is for their patient. A terminally ill patient who has only 4 painful months to live should have the right to ask their doctors to put them at rest……….Physician assisted suicide should be legal in all states.

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