Physician-Assisted Suicide and Legal Euthanasia It is true that many Americans may not be capable of making a decision about their death, that is why there needs to be a legal practice of witnesses. I believe assisted suicide should be legal in the United States. The reason I would like to see legal euthanasia is for myself. I worry that will not have children or any one to take care of me. I don’t want to become a ward of the state with no say over my elder care. Euthanasia is defined as “literally good death”. (Mackinac/Filial 2014) Many argue that it is the same as murder and any one found assisting in the death should be harmed so.
In 4 states physician-assisted suicide is legal. The states are Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and Washington. I would like to look at the individual states in this paper. Oregon In 1994 Oregon legislation passed the Death with Dignity Act. “An adult who is capable, is a resident of Oregon, and has been determined by attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal decease, and who has voluntarily expressed his or her wish to die, may make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner. Procom, 2014) The patient seeking the prescription for the medication must be at least 18 years of age, a state resident, capable of communicating for themselves and be terminally ill with less then 6 months to live. Washington Washington state voted in the Death with Dignity Act in 2008. Due to the same act being brought in the rules and regulations are the same as Oregon states. There are 5 documented uses of physician assisted suicide in Washington.
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Montana Montana accepted physician assisted suicide in 2008 from the Baxter V Montana case. The requirements are the same as Washington and Oregon. Robert Baxter was truck driver dieing from lymphocyte leukemia who approached the state to “use the assistance of his physician to obtain a prescription for a lethal dose of medication that the patient may take on his own if and when he decides to terminate his life. ” (Dirty,2008) Vermont Vermont passed the Act No. 39 An Act Relating to Patient Choice and Control at End of Life in 2013. A physician shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action if the physician prescribes to a patient with a terminal condition medication to be self-administered for the purpose of hastening he patient’s death and the physician affirms by documenting in the patients medical record” (Procom, 2014) The same requirements of age, residency, cognitive skills and terminal illness need to be met by the patient seeking the medical assistance in ending their life.