Assisted Suicide - the Right to Choose

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Assisted Suicide – The Right to Choose
Shannon Laing

Assisted Suicide – The Right to Choose

The right to choose whether to live or die is one that we all take for granted. This is a choice, that until we are faced with a grim reality, most people do not even think about. However, most people are not aware that where you live may dictate whether you even have a choice in the matter. Currently, there are three states which give you the right to choose, to live or die, in the face of a terminal illness. There are multiple terms to describe assisted suicide, depending upon what your opinion on this sensitive matter are. Whether we as people, or patients, as it would be, have the right to choose, depends invariably on where we reside, the legal judgements and the physicians viewpoint, and how we perceive this ethical decision. The three states that currently have the Death with Dignity Act in place are Washington, Oregon, and Vermont. Some people, including several national professional organizations within these states, object to the term suicide, stating that this implies some degree or type of mental illness. The term that these national organizations have adopted to use for assisted suicide is, patient directed dying or physician aid-in-dying. The reason that these organizations had to adopt a specific term is because some outdated terminology has taken on a social definition or a particular stance on this emotional and complex subject. The legal term for this act is called the Death with Dignity Act. Neither term is used in Washington, Oregon, or Vermont. These states and their national seated organizations contend that the, "Physician aid-in-dying (PAD) refers to a practice in which a physician provides a competent, terminally ill patient with a prescription for a lethal dose of medication, upon the patient's…...

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