Right-To-Die Opinion Order ID: Right-To-Die Research Paper

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[. . .] The law was further reduced in scope and usability when certain types of doctors and/or from certain departments were precluded from ever participating in a physician-assisted suicide. Other scholarly research has held that nurses should be flatly banned from ever participating in the practice even if the agree on a personal moral or religious basis. That being said, nurses can be a listening ear and a hand to hold. Indeed, part of nursing is being a soothing and helping presence even when death of any form or cause is basically assured. Nurses can help assist in deciding whether a person wanting to die and/or making decisions about medical care are lucid and able to make such decisions. Indeed, people that do not have such standing can be stripped of the ability to make such decisions if a court renders and verifies this status to be the case (Ball, 2006).

The author will now come back to the Oregon law mentioned in the last paragraph. The list of people eligible to choose to end their life was kept fairly tight upon the law's passing. People who wanted to receive a lethal dose of drugs have to be 18 years old, must be a resident of Oregon, must be lucid and able to make such a decision under psychological/psychiatric standards, must confirm the request verbally directly to a doctor on two different occasions no less than fifteen days apart and there have to be two witnesses that sign off on the declarations. The witnesses cannot be family members nor can the witnesses be affiliated with any healthcare facility or organization. As of 2009, only 242 patients had taken advantage of the law and ended their life via its framework. However, the chorus about the law after its implementation as far from monolithic. For example, psychologies are involved in the process for the mental acuity assessment dimension. While nearly four out of five respondents to an official survey were fine with the involvement of psychologists in the process, the other fifth were vehemently against such involvement and felt it was an endangerment to the profession and ethics of psychology. At the same time, four fifths of the psychologists surveyed would absolutely go through the framework in place if they decided to go that route in the future. The discord about the subject, despite the widespread support, emanated from the structure of such a program rather than the general right to die if one so chooses and wants to (Westefield et al., 2009).

Even though nurses are banned from being a part of the process other than for comfort and consolation, physicians are no less prone to be conflicted and unprepared. Many physicians that have had right-to-die chats with patients felt unprepared, apprehensive and extremely uncomfortable with engaging in the process. The same pool of doctors were surveyed about the framework and some very divergent opinions were found. Almost a third found that writing an intentionally lethal prescription is "immoral and unethical." About a tenth of doctors surveyed were neutral on the subject and the other sixty percent or so were not morally conflicted or hesitant about the subject. However, drilling deeper with the questions finds some more facts and figures that are interesting to say the least. For example, roughly a fifth of a broad survey of regular people found that suicide assisted by physicians is never allowed. Similar to before, another seventy-one percent thought it was alright to allow for suicide if certain criteria were met, such as those mandated by the Oregon right-to-die law. This is consistent with the numbers mentioned already (Westefield et al., 2009).

However, the opinions offered about the questions thereafter had a varying amount of responses significant enough to be counted, that meaning a score of 5, 6 or 7 on a Likert scale, were quite eyebrow-raising. For example, only 43 people thought that physician-assisted suicide should never be allowed but 147 people answered in the affirmative about certain criteria being met. When it comes to age restrictions, roughly two thirds thought there should be age restrictions. Less than half supported the act for a family member. Less than a third said they would personally consider the act if it was their life in question. The family member question was answered significantly by 87 people and the personal choice question was from 64 total people. The highest significant response rate, 157 people in total, came regarding the environment in which the person opting to die may receive a lethal dose. It was confirmed with that question that the process should be carried out with a doctor present or in an authorized facility like a hospital or similar location. Lastly, there was a 46% rate for the idea that only terminally ill people should be allowed to use the right-to-die option and only 45% said they would vote for a right-to-die law if it were on the ballot in their home state (Westefield, 2009).

There are actually three overall perspectives that are involved with what is being discussed in this report. Those three perspectives and viewpoints are right-to-life, right-to-die and assisted suicide. This prism brings to life another real-world test case by the name of Diane Pretty. She was a 42-year-old woman in the advanced stages of motor-neuron disease. More or less, the disease was going to lead to a long and painful death over a fairly long time horizon including gradual paralysis, loss of muscle function and loss of respiratory function. Rather than endure a long-term and agonizing disease that would certainly kill her at some point, she considered ending her life. She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights and asserted that the Suicide Act and the Human Rights Act directly contradicted each other. She said that the "right to life" in the Human Rights Act concurrently implied a right to die, that the Suicide Act's forbidding of assisted suicide forced her to suffer greatly, that her private life included the right to decide when she had enough of all of her struggles and that the Suicide Act's ban on physician-assisted suicide was condoning discrimination against her. The European Court of Human Rights ruled against her stating that protecting human life at all costs was the moral and legal imperative of the medical community. This obviously ran counter to Pretty's feeling that the government had no right to assert such a rule and that she should have the right to die peacefully and at a time of her choosing rather than going to perpetual agony for an elongated period of time. Indeed, she felt the outcome was not in doubt but she wanted to control the timing of it. The Netherlands and Belgium have taken different stances in recent years but the United Kingdom has been more stubborn on the subject (Chetwynd, 2004).

One major buzz phrase in this discussion is "dying with dignity." While this may seem like a black and white subject to some, many hold the opposite to be the case. Indeed, imploring someone to define "dignity" and lack thereof can illuminate and clarify why this is the case. To prove the point, one can look at the disabled. To avoid questions about mental acuity and competence, one can look at people that are paralyzed, otherwise bound to wheelchairs or suffering from a disease that reduces a person's quality of life. Indeed, human history (albeit thankfully not recent in most cases) has treated the disabled like a liability and they would tend to be either killed or relegated to an asylum for all of their life. Indeed, improper treatment of the disabled up to and including active eugenics has been a problem over the history of mankind. One question that comes up quite easily when looking at the disabled is whether they should have the right to die if they so choose. People with physical deformity, nerve or pain issues and so forth may come to the conclusion that they are sick and tired of living such an existence. However, unless their condition is terminal and/or their life is in immediate danger, the odds of most people supporting suicide as a voluntary option is not all that high. People that feel suicide is a choice that anyone can and should be able to make irrespective of the circumstances might support the idea of the disabled beign able to make such a choice. However, the consistently held standards of chronic pain and suffering and/or a terminal illness are not remotely met in the case of most disabled people no matter how miserable they rare. Much the same thing could be said for the forlorn, the depressed, the bullied and the destitute that are not facing any sort of illness yet want to die because of what they feel life has become or will… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Right-To-Die Opinion Order ID: Right-To-Die.  (2014, October 3).  Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/right-die-opinion-order-id/4460032

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/right-die-opinion-order-id/4460032.