Physician has the right to take his life when

Physician
Assisted Death: Is it Really the Best Choice?

Physician
assisted death is has recently become legal in Canada, but it is important to
have a deeper understanding of potential consequences this legalization can
entail. The approval of Bill C-14 on June 17, 2016 is what set the grounds for
this phenomenon to be part of medical practice in Canada (Ireland, 2017). Since
legalization, over 1300 Canadians have died with the help of physicians, that
is a significant amount of people that perhaps still could have been living
today if Bill C-14 had not been passed (Ireland, 2017). In the case of Rob
Rollins, a story published on CBC news, he was a man fighting cancer and the
doctors had told him that he had around 6 months to live (Ireland, 2017).
Rollins was a terminally ill, but completely competent man and he made the
decision on his own will to end his life through the assistance of a physician
(Ireland, 2017). It does make sense that Rollins had the right to autonomy; he
obviously felt that it is his own life and that he has the right to take his
life when he seemed fit. It does seem like a favourable choice when it comes to
the idea of dying with dignity, since a patient can be administered a lethal
dose of drugs that could help him or her die a painless and well planned out death
surrounded by things and people that are important to them. The issue of
concern with the legalization of physician-assisted death is that it opens a
gateway for offering this option to individuals who are not completely
competent or may be undergoing other mental health issues.

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As
physician assisted death becomes more and more accepted and regularised around
the world it has the potential to send the message that people who are
terminally ill, and people who are disabled or the elderly have lives that are
not worth living, so that they should take the easy way out and end their
lives. This phenomenon is comparable to suicide, since some people who commit
suicide also end their lives since they feel that their life is not worth
living. So when the topics of physician assisted death and suicide are
compared, perhaps it makes more sense to come up with support systems or health
care policies that are tailored to these vulnerable individuals by coming up with
better alternatives that support their unfortunate situations.

All
humans should have the right to health. Many patients who are terminally ill
face mental health issues such as depression, so it is important to understand
these patient’s vulnerable states of mind when introducing the idea of
physician assisted death to them. In addition, elderly individuals who are
terminally ill may feel like they are a burden on their families, so they may
feel it would be best to end their lives since it could make their families
lives easier. Perhaps what would be better for patients such as these is to
provide them with support systems, and make them feel that their lives are
valued and they are loved, it can have the potential for them to completely
reconsider their choices when it comes to giving a physician the permission to
end their lives.

Moreover,
respect for human life is vital, so physician assisted suicide should be an
extreme last resort when no other methods are sufficient to aid the person in
need. It is important that individuals have the right to live well with all the
support and help they need before they are given the right to go through with
physician assisted death. It is possible that people may want to take the route
of physician assisted death if they are not being supplied with the support
they need, thus making it very important to provide individuals with the tools
needed to live their most comfortable and fulfilling lives to ensure physician
assisted death would truly be a complete last resort.

Overall,
physician assisted death is something that gives competent individuals a chance
to die with dignity, which in itself is a very honourable phenomenon. The
matter of concern is how some individuals who may not be completely competent,
may not be in the right state of mind, or the elderly who may feel like they
are a burden on their families may choose this route when it may not be the
best choice for them. Thus, it is very important to understand the situations
of these individuals and provide them with the help and support they need to
overcome these difficult and confusing times in their lives because physician
assisted death may not be what they truly want or need. Human life is very
precious, so every measure should be taken for humans to live their lives as
long as nature allows.

 

 

 

References

Ireland, N. (2017, April 20). 1,300
Canadians have died with medical assistance since legalization – here’s one
man’s story. Retrieved January 23, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/medically-assisted-dying-canadians-rob-rollins-1.4056700