Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Assisted Suicide, Pain, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Law, Suicide, Doctor, People

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/03

The Paradox on Passing a Law Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide

What can a physician, treating a patient with no less than one percent of recovery do when begged to end his or her life? We have heard of euthanasia, where a person, forced to continue his or her suffering, seeks mercy killing. While a number of states in the U.S have finally approved euthanasia, what do patients undergoing similar medical conditions do when their states treat euthanasia illegal? While there is a continuous need to change policies affecting healthcare in the United States, one controversial issue that continues to cause uproar in this country is the end of life issues. How many people really understand the seriousness of this issue? Those people who have directly been affected by this issue will vouch that there has to be a more humanistic approach to handle end of life issues. People diagnosed with a terminal illness should be allowed to choose their end of life decision, as there are far too many issues that show that such terminally-ill people seek an end to their misery. How much longer can a terminally ill person undergoing silent torture cope, when in all seriousness he or she is begging to be relieved of the excruciating pain? There is also the question of their dignity; they would rather die, than become a liability to others. Euthanasia is a topic that is continuously and vociferously debated in medical circles, and despite the agonizing pain and suffering they undergo, not many states allow euthanasia. As Wagner in Promoting a Culture of Abandonment says, “Should a rational person be willing to endure acute suffering merely on the chance that a miraculous cure might presently be at hand?”
It would be appropriate for the government to pass a law to legalize physician-assisted suicide because, as Hook says, “the burden placed upon the family, the community, and the diminishing resources to provide the adequate and costly services necessary to sustain the lives of those whose days and nights are spent on mattresses graves of pain” (Hook). What people in general fail to understand is the gravity of pain and despair that patients with terminal illness face. When one takes a look at what happens between the four walls of a hospital, they will be surprised to see how the loved ones and those close to these terminally ill patients suffer in silence, as they strain themselves to bear the pain and agony of these patients. Similarly, the support staffs who care for these patients find themselves totally powerless when they see the patients cry out without sound the pain and agony they go through as they fight to welcome death. They have no control over authority, and watch helplessly as these unfortunate patients suffer in misery. The prostrated cry for mercy reverberate the four walls of their rooms. If someone was to take a closer look into what is happening inside the hospitals and to these patients, only then will it dawn on them the gravity of their pain and misery. They seek mercy and wish to be freed from their excruciating pain. While the loved ones spend as much time and money on these terminally ill patients hoping against hope that they might recover or die in peace, these patients remain in hospital as an asset for them. Take for instance the case of Theresa Schiavo.
In a bitter and long legal battle over the guardianship and rights, Theresa Maria Schindler Schiavo was finally allowed to breathe her last. Terri Schiavo was hospitalized in 1990 after she collapsed when her heart stopped beating due to a potassium imbalance. This caused extensive damage to her brain as it didn’t receive enough oxygen. After years of struggle, she finally went into a vegetative state, and in 1998 her husband, Michael Schiavo petitioned a Florida court for her feeding tube to be removed. Her parents opposed the petition stating that their daughter would never wish for such an end. In 2000 the court ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo and the feed tubing was removed, but the judgment was challenged by her parents in another court and the tube was ordered to be reinserted. Brought back to court, the earlier judge who ruled in favor of Michael Schiavo’s petition, allowed Terri Schiavo’s support systems to be removed again. The Florida appeals court upheld the ruling, and in 2003 the tube was removed. However, the Florida legislature passed a law that allowed Governor Jeb Bush to intervene, as a result of which, her feeding resumed. In this long and arduous legal battle, no one other than Michael Schiavo understood what was happening to Theresa Schiavo, who despite being in a vegetative condition, was being forced to suffer excruciating pain and agony in silence. Finally, after years of petitioning for his wife’s mercy, in 2004, the Florida Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Terri's right to privacy was being violated, and that she had the right to choose her destiny. Despite Governor Bush’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to quash the order, it was rejected, and two weeks after her feeding tubes were removed, Terri Schiavo died on Mar. 31, 2005 (Waddell).
While Terri Schiavo remains just one-in-a-million cases where patients seek physician-assisted suicide, Rudden and Bradley in Death and the law, asks “What could be more just than allowing a person to choose to end a life that is bereft of hope and consumed with pain?” Wouldn’t it unfair to let people suffer from extreme pain to remain alive despite their unheard call for assisted suicide? Do they deserve to bear such intolerable pain? What about those who remain at their bedside but can’t find ways to ease the pain? Not many people realize what it would be like to be in such a situation. Isn’t it about time that morality existed and law makers took stock of the situation and allowed physician-assisted suicide? A person undergoing mental and physical torture should be allowed to express his or her wish, and be assisted by all possible means.
There is no doubt that the subject of physician-assisted suicide continues to remain a contentious issue in end of life debates, and because science and technology has only led to the prolonged suffering of certain cases such as those of Terri Schiavo, one must understand and honor the voice of the voiceless when it comes to showing an understanding. True, for some, the idea of physician-assisted suicide would a sour pill to swallow, but they must realize how much of agony and pain they are undergoing while their fate is being fought in courts. Therefore, it would be appropriate for the government to pass a law to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Works Cited

Hook, S. (1987). In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia,
Rudden and Bradley, Death and the Law,
Waddell, Lynn. 'Nytimes: Parents of Woman in Florida Lose Bid to Keep In Feeding Tube
[Archive] - Prison Talk'. Prisontalk.com. N.p., 2005. Web. 28 Mar. 2015.
Wagner, T. R. Promoting a Culture of Abandonment,

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WePapers. (2021, January, 03) Good Example Of Esll Essay. Retrieved August 13, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-esll-essay/
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Good Example Of Esll Essay. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-esll-essay/. Published Jan 03, 2021. Accessed August 13, 2022.

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