End Of Life Option Act 

California is the fifth state in the United States to officially legalize physician-assisted suicide, which is better known as the End of Life Option Act. Legalized by Governor Jerry Brown on October of 2015, there’s still great controversy over the practice of “euthanasia”, which is the termination of a patient, typically terminally ill adults, suffering from an inoperable and agonizing disease. This is considered to be illegal in most countries, but in this case the physician can’t be the one to administer the lethal medication, making this process legal.

There are specific conditions that have to be met in order to be considered for this type of assistance. For starters, you have to be an adult that is 18 years of age, be a citizen and living in one of the 7 states that have thus far legalized assisted killing, have a diagnosis that is proven to be incurable and therefore cannot be reversed, resulting into death within the next 6 months, and also voluntarily requesting for the prescribed aiding drugs as well as being able to make medical decisions by yourself.

This act came back into the light, when 29 yr. old Brittany Maynard, who had terminal cancer, moved to Oregon, which was one of the few first legalized states where the right to die voluntarily due to an illness was legal.

Even though, the practicing of assisted death has occurred previously in the years, Brittany Maynard was the change in the system, who by being 29, created a new cover for the assisted dying movement, whose median age of the patients who died from ingesting this medication were 71.

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With Brittany’s decision to choose this route of course, it opened many roads by changing the perception of the End of Life Option Act debate and getting people of younger generations interested on this life changing issue.

As stated before, physician assisted suicide is a controversial topic, that will likely remain that way for many years to come. Needless to say, there are pros to this route of course that are beneficial to everyone, including the patient. Advocates for physician assisted suicide state that all human beings have the will and right to die with dignity and therefore this opportunity shouldn’t be taken away from them.A person that is very ill needs the aid of nurses and family members to do the simple things in life such as to eat, clean, bath, etc. This new style of life can be very demeaning to patients, resulting into them assuming that they’re a burden to their family and wouldn’t want to be remembered by their family that way. Allowing the chance to choose when they want to die and how they want to die, giving them the opportunity to take control of their life, choosing to “die with dignity” People that have incurable terminal illness, are constantly in misery, which can be clearly seen when analyzing and looking towards the end of their battle.

The pain weakens these patients daily, and the only option is to take daily supplements of drugs and painkillers to numb the pain for a short period time. By allowing to legally end the suffering of a patient by the assistance of a physician, it is ethical and should be permitted to put an end to the sufferings on a patient brought by terminal illnesses. Patients who are to die within 6 months due to their illness, shouldn’t be allowed and imposed to go through this continuous pain. Due to the amount of prolonged pain and suffering caused by illnesses such as cancer, this option allows patients to choose when there lives should end and to be surrounded by loved ones on their last days, rather then dying in suffer in the hospital. As stated in the Bill of Rights of Patients, a patient is guaranteed the freedom “to refuse medical treatment even if it is recommended by a physician”.

This specific freedom inflicts that patients should be granted the right to end their lives, by the means of “autonomy”, which is the freedom from external control or influence. Supporters of this act claim that because this act is based on the decision of the patient with no insight from others, it creates a non influenced decision, that doesn’t go against the act and doesn’t prove the practicing of “euthanasia”, which is an illegal practice worldwide.

A benefit for other people, who aren’t the patient, is in relation to a health care cost reduction. Many patients when diagnosed with incurable diseases and are close to death, use a great amount of medical funding available. According to some advocates for this act, great expenses are made on patients who don’t have the opportunity to recover from their illness. For those who have a limit as to how much they can afford to pay for their care and want to endure physician assisted suicide, should be allowed to do so, not only because they consider it best for them, but it would also cut on government health care costs. All in all, individuals are born with the right to decide on the manner in which to live their life, therefore, no one is in a point of view to determine the way a person lives life or decides to end it.

There are many different views and forms of the issue on physician assisted suicide, that should be looked into in detail, before a conclusion can be made. There are many types of things such as religion, morals, and humanity that comes into play in this controversial debate. As much as there are pros for this law, there are also many cons that come into factor. Advocates against the practice of physician assisted suicide claim that by permitting doctors to follow through with this practice, they could potentially start to view it as a solution to many incurable diagnosis and it will begin to be misused. It could as well give the response to different places and younger people that human life have a lesser value.

There’s a moral obstacle that comes into view with this decision. Death isn’t taken easily, and by many people, especially those with a religious background, it’s morally wrong to allow the killing of any human being, despite the current situations,and it is looked down upon and disapproved to go through with this practice. Reasonings for most religions is that “God has forbidden it” , because in scriptures God says that ‘you must not kill’, which includes murder, euthanasia, and suicide. Doing any of these would be going against his orders.

Another religious saying is that “Human Life is Sacred”, meaning that the lives of human beings are special because God made them, and should be preserved despite obstacles, therefore we shouldn’t condone the shortening of life by impeding with God’s plan. When a patient is choosing to carry out the practice of physician assisted suicide, the patient needs to have the capabilities to make medical decisions on their own.

The mental capability of a patient is difficult to conclude. It is problematic for a patient to comprehend the significance of their life changing decision, and many terminal illnesses, especially those dealing with the brain, which was in the case of Brittany Maynard (grade 2 astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer), can affect the way their brain makes decisions. For anyone not to comprehend the importance of their decision before it’s too late, would be a tragedy. Many patients are in defenseless positions and may believe that they are a burden to the family. This may persuade them that choosing physician assisted suicide is the right choice for them, that may alleviate the stress on their family. But also be exploited by medical facilities to save money, space, and other personal issues.

In a way, physician assisted suicide is a slippery slope. Precautions are not being taken into full affect, as claimed by advocates who are against this act. Under the current circumstances, these drugs could effortlessly get in the wrong hands. These murderous medication can be abused across the nation. We all have to take into consideration of life saving miracles and instances that occur every day. Life is cherished and shouldn’t be discarded away so carelessly.

Many questions first come to my mind when considering the controversial topic on physician assisted suicide, such as: ‘When someone is dying and are constantly in pain, is it a really a crime to accept their wish and end their suffering’? Analyzing the details, you can see that doctors don’t and legally are not allowed to give death as an option to terminally ill patients. It is and always has been the patients’ choice to determine what they plan to do with their lives, illustrating the “Death with Dignity”, which is a nicer way to describe euthanasia.

The practice should not be considered and claimed to be a crime, due to the fact that the patient in no way is being murdered. Instead, they chose a different route and decided to have their constant suffering end painlessly, out of empathy for themselves and their family. Terminally ill patients encounter a crisis in deciding how to live there last days. While some patients are inclined to brave nature and experience a slow death, other patients wish for a quicker and less agonizing approach. Physicians have the ability to assist these certain patients and end their lives by authorizing life ending medication to them.

There are several ethical reasons that are in opposition of physician assisted suicide. Likewise, there are abundant amount of reasoning that support this practice. These reasons include liberty, dignity with death, cost benefits, painless death, and proper legislation, that direct the widespread practice. Furthermore, courts haven’t stated officially that this practice is illegal only providing guidelines on the topic.In conclusion, legalizing physician assisted suicide will go far in preserving the dignity of the patient and other moral aspects and points of views as discussed in this paper.

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End Of Life Option Act . (2022, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/end-of-life-option-act/

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