Over the past ten to twenty years a big issue has been made over a personÃÂ¹s right to commit suicide or not. The American courts have had to deal with everything from assisted suicides to planned suicides, and whether the constitution gives the American people the right to take their own lives or whether it says they have the power to allow someone else to take their lives. They have had to determine in some cases whether or not homicide charges needed to be brought up and others times whether or not it was done for an underlying reason such as insurance fraud. Part of this issue of suicide is that of physician assisted suicide. With this controversial topic comes many problems. Some examples of these problems are those of whether this assisted suicide is legal, the moral and ethical problems that arise, and the aspects of how the procedure of one of these assisted suicides takes place.
These issues will be confronted within this paper and will hopefully allow for some light to be spread on this issue to make it a little clearer.
What is Physician Assisted Suicide?
Many people have misconceptions on the actual procedures that must be followed when a physician is to aid a patient in suicide. Some people might think it is a gruesome, painful act or other strange misconception. However, this is far from the truth. A physician must meet multiple requirements before he or she can write a prescription for a lethal combination of medications. After the initial request, the physician must ensure that the patient is fully informed about every aspect of the procedure. This is called informed consent and includes the diagnosis, the prognosis, the risks, alternatives, and the likely results of the medications (Sultz 55). Then a second...