The Law on Doctor-Assisted Suicide
Assisted suicide is a hot topic among many. The significant debate being if it's a legal or an ethical issue. Murder is a crime. Ether you did it voluntarily or involuntarily. Physician-assisted murder, also known as euthanasia, has caused a lot of debate on whether the matter is ethical or legal.
In many cases, euthanasia is carried out of the individual's wishes, but the person may be in too much pain that the relatives have to decide. The blood relatives can decide to end one's life, the medics in hospitals, or the law court. The court of law decision on the matter makes it a legal issue.
A Legal Example of Doctor- Assisted Suicide
A case in Texas concerning a lawyer's death provides the need to discuss doctor-assisted suicide. The experienced lawyer was sick from terminal cancer. The illness had spread to his spine, lymph nodes and kidneys. The lawyer had tried various forms of medication, including traditional alternatives.
However, all his efforts alleviated none of his sufferings. However, the lawyer died from natural causes just before the judge made his order. The court believes that one of the physicians aided the lawyer in his death. The phrase physician-assisted suicide has been suggested to be replaced with words such as "aid in dying or dignified dying." The term is applied when a doctor administers a lethal drug or mechanisms to terminally ill patients.
The action is conducted to help hasten a patient's death to die with dignity by eliminating prolonged suffering. Additionally, the act is done to terminal patients who feel like dying faster will be better than despair until their death time comes. Either the doctor assists themselves, or they provide them to the patient or the relatives. By law, the doctor has contributed or caused the death of the patient.
Position of Euthanasia in States
The question, therefore, is whether the doctor is guilty or not of murder or culpable homicide. However, the verdict to the question depends on if the court will regard the action as unlawful. In most courts, one needs to have a court order in cases of active euthanasia. Therefore, if you work for a hospital, it is essential to determine if they have a court order for active euthanasia.
The lawyer's case in Texas recognizes that people in the lawyer's position may consult the court for their medics to help them in ending their lives. Such a request may or may not be granted in the future, depending on how Parliament, the Constitutional Court, or other appeal courts develop the law.
United States Ruling on Euthanasia
During the 1997 Supreme Court rulings, the matter of assisted suicide was often mispresented and misunderstood. Therefore, in the United States, it was ruled that every State should decide for itself if assisted suicide is unconstitutional or not. In States like Oregon, for instance, physician-assisted suicide is legalized.
By law, assisted suicide is dependent on which country and State you come from and the respective laws of that particular State. If you come from Oregon, then you have the right to help your terminally ill patient hasten their death. However, in other states, you have to be careful and ensure you do your homework well regarding legalities.
According to the code of medical ethics by the American Medical Association, it is the responsibility of a doctor to respect the patient's autonomy and adequate pain control. Therefore, if a patient independently decides to hasten their death, it is obligated for the doctor to help his independence. Besides, for terminally ill patients, the best pain control is death.
Code of ethics is written in consideration of the law. Therefore by law, doctor-assisted suicide is legal. However, the act should be done with genuine motives. The only thing that separates euthanasia from murder is the agent of its reason. The explanation of the action should be for the good of the person being killed. Doctor-assisted suicide is legal but is dependent on the motive, the State you are from, and your morals on the matter.
The debate on euthanasia continues as people are torn between whether the action is right or wrong. The act may be right as it involves the desire to end the other's suffering and pain or personal consent. Euthanasia is a contradictory topic. You may debate that it's right in certain circumstances, and in others, it's wrong.
Consequently, doctor-assisted suicide involves ending someone's life. Your morals and ethics decide if a doctor you would aid a patient in dying. As much as the law validates or denotes the right to doctor-assisted suicide, it all gets down to the doctor involved.
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