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For those who do take the medication to achieve a peaceful death, they have been able to cross the threshold to death in a manner consistent with their values and beliefs, and consider this choice to have enabled them to exercise a final act of autonomy consistent with how they have lived their whole life.
As I pointed out in my post, I have been a long time supporter of people’s rights to end their lives when they are suffering from terminal illnesses, and of the appropriateness of physicians helping them do this.
But Tucker made some outstanding points in her essay, ones I am very grateful to have learned from, and ones that are very much in the spirit of my original post.
And yes, it can be dignified for a terminally ill person to take control over their own destiny, and ingest medications that end their life.
Thanks to Kathryn Tucker, I will not use the phrase physician-assisted suicide again, except to make sure people understand that the phrase carries connotations that are unnecessarily pejorative."oped, “Death With Dignity Should Not Be Equated With Physician Assisted Suicide, Duke University physician Peter Ubel writes: “I think it is wrong-headed to equate assisted suicide with the concept of a dignified death.” Dr.
She points out that the way people perceive words matters, separate from the specific definition of those words.
She points out that the word “suicide” is stigmatized.
Medical Law or Ethics Issue Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is one of the more controversial issues in medical practice.
The issue framed in a number of ways, from being an issue about the individual right to self-determination to an issue of the Hippocratic Oath.
A growing number of states, including Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and Hawaii, permit mentally competent, terminally ill patients to obtain medications they can ingest to bring about a peaceful death if their suffering becomes unbearable.
The Oregon, Washington, and Vermont laws clearly state: “Actions taken in accordance with [the Act] shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law.” Terminally ill patients do not want to die but are facing an imminent death, most after long efforts to cure their illness and heroic efforts to palliate symptoms.