Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Physician-Assisted Suicide

I just wrote a paper on physician-assisted suicide. It was really interesting to research and I regret not being able to put the time into it that I wanted to.

My main focus was the Oregon citizen initiative that made it onto the ballot in 1994, passed by about 51%, and became practice in 1998 (due to various court battles and the state legislature trying to get it repealed.)

Physician-assisted suicide is different from euthanasia in that the patient administers the medication to him or herself rather than a physician administering a lethal injection.

So are you an opponent or proponent of physician-assisted suicide? Euthanasia?


Addie said...

hmmm, Im not dead certain either way, but I dont think people have the right to "play God" deciding when people should live or die - even if thats themselves, on the other hand, I can see if you are living in constant pain and you have no hope and its just a waiting game to die...

gojiro said...

I'm all for it. No one has the right to tell me I can't die if I want to.

Oh, and The Simpsons just did an episode about this on Sunday. Is that what inspired your paper?

SerenitySprings said...

No, I didn't see that episode. I wish I would've.

Oh, and just so you know, I've already turned in the paper so any opinions that show up here won't be able to be plagairized by me. :P

dwain said...

Funny how often we use the term 'rights' as if we have a cache of them at our disposal. We have fewer than we actually pretend to know. A right to death. Nope. Doesn't exist. Being that I had nothing to do with creating my life, I don't think I can have anything to do with taking it. Being that my parents has something to do with creating my life, they can't take it either because that violates my right to life. I'll just have to suffer. And I won't complain about it because there have been, continues to be, and will forever be people suffering far worse than me.

SerenitySprings said...

In my opinion, we should have a right to death, Dwain. I believe that every person has a right to choose when and how they end their life. I also believe that most people are going to see their lives through to their natural conclusion, but there are some who would choose to end it sooner.

How can anybody make suicide illegal, anyway? I mean, what are they going to do, prosecute you once you're buried?

I understand that physician-assisted suicide is a different issue than committing suicide in the "traditional" sense. But as long as doctor's are not forced to help people commit suicide, I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to help end the suffering of someone.

The Oregon law (which is what my paper was on) has very specific guidelines for who could commit physician-assisted suicide and under what circumstances. I think that's wholly appropriate.

I think it's absolutely ridiculous to make laws that prohibit people from doing what they will for or against their own bodies.

Oh, and yes, I'm also against helmet laws for the same reason.