Physician-Assisted Suicide: Right to Life or Right to Death?

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dc.contributor.advisor Martin, David en_us Ku, Sarah
dc.contributor.editor Martin, David en_us 2010-06-14T18:16:36Z 2010-06-14T18:16:36Z 2010-06-14T18:16:36Z
dc.description.abstract In 1997 the Death with Dignity Act was implemented in the state of Oregon. This piece of legislation enables a competent adult who desires to end their life access to a lethal dose of medication. In order for a person to qualify for assisted suicide under this act, they must be 18 years or older, a resident of Oregon, able to verbalize and understand the consequences of their decision, have a prognosis of six months or less to live due to a terminal illness, and convince a physician of their desire to end their life (Volker, 2007). Although the Death with Dignity Act empowers individuals to control the timing of their death, physician assisted suicide still remains a controversial topic in today’s society that raises many ethical questions. These questions include: Who is the true owner of our lives? Should relieving suffering always be the highest priority or does suffering occur for a reason? Is suicide a purely individual choice (Mathes, 2004)? The answers to the above questions are subjective, yet healthcare workers deal with the difficult issues associated with end-of-life care on a daily basis. Since patients and families frequently ask nurses to provide information about support in dying, it is important for nurses to thoroughly understand the topic of physician assisted suicide regardless of whether it is legally permitted within the State where they are working (Ersek, 2004). The purpose of this paper is to describe benefits and disadvantages of assisted suicide and to discuss the ethical reasoning behind both of these opposing viewpoints. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau en_us
dc.relation.ispartof The Journal of Undergraduate Nursing Writing. Volume 4, Issue 1. 2010
dc.subject nursing en_US
dc.title Physician-Assisted Suicide: Right to Life or Right to Death? en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.subject.cinahl Suicide, Assisted en_US
dc.subject.cinahl Terminally Ill Patients en_US
dc.subject.cinahl Ethics, Nursing en_US
rft.spage 24 en_US

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