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Global Epidemic: Dying with Dignity

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Physician assisted suicide has become a hotly debated topic in recent years, in the United States and around the world.  This practice involves licensed medical professionals providing terminally ill patients with the legal dosage of medication to end their own lives.  Here is a guide to all the views for and against physician assisted suicide as well as neutral resources to provide more information.

Pro-Physician Assisted Suicide

  • Death With Dignity Should Not Be Equated With Physician Assisted Suicide
    • This article from Forbes addresses the legalization of physician assisted suicide in Washington and holds the view that this is an acceptable practice.  It goes on to say that the term “physician assisted suicide” is an unfair label and unjustly gives a negative connotation.
  • Dying with Dignity Canada brings message on assisted death to Dartmouth
    • Although this article from Canada’s Herald News is written from an unbiased news perspective, it is reporting on the gathering of Dying With Dignity Canada, a pro-physician assisted suicide group.  The article shares information presented at the conference which discusses the benefits of this practice, one of which being that it would stop people from ending their lives in less dignified ways.
  • The World Should Follow Belgium’s Lead In Granting Prisoners the Right to Die
    • This opinion column from Vice News is a reaction to Belgium allowing an inmate to partake in physician assisted suicide.  The author is in favor of this decree and uses the rationale that people should be able to alienate themselves from their own right to life.
  • Physician-assisted suicide should be an option for terminally ill
    • This opinion column from James Madison University’s The Breeze is in favor of physician assisted suicide for terminally ill patients.  This article gives personal examples of people who should have been granted the right to physician assisted suicide and also brings up the point that lawmakers should not be allowed to undermine a person’s suffering.
  • Physician assisted suicide should be legalized
    • This opinion column from The Johns-Hopkins News-Letter holds the position that physician suicide is an acceptable practice.  It delves into the topic of being a progressive society and the importance of choice in difficult situations.
  • Life After Kevorkian
    • This opinion column praises the practice of physician assisted suicide by an intimate look into the final days of the author’s father.  He also delves into the topic of Dr. Kevorkian and the conditions that should be placed on physician assisted suicide.
  • Argument for Physician Assisted Suicide Legalization
    • This YouTube video of a PowerPoint slideshow accompanied by a voiceover argues that physician assisted suicide should be legal.  It gives background information on the subject and several reasons why this is an acceptable practice.

Con-Physician Assisted Suicide

  • Opinion 2.211 – Physician-Assisted Suicide
    • This short excerpt from American Medical Association’s website explains physician assisted suicide and offers brief commentary on why this practice is contrary to the role of a doctor.
  • Physician-assisted Suicide: The Wrong Approach to End of Life Care
    • This comprehensive article from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops delves into the ins and outs of physician assisted suicide.  Although this article begins by stating that physician assisted suicide is wrong, it continues to provide general information as well as arguments from both sides of the issue.
  • “Suicide Tourism” in Switzerland Targets Patients Who Aren’t Terminally Ill
    • This article from LifeNews.com focuses on the lax physician assisted suicide laws in Switzerland and attacks the practice of physician assisted suicide when the patient has a treatable condition.  The article then goes on to determine how Switzerland’s laws compare to those in the United States and in other countries.
  • Media Portrayal of Physician Assisted Suicide Does Not Address the Purpose of Life
    • This opinion column from The Christian Post delves into the logic behind physician assisted suicide and why to oppose it.  A key argument the author addresses is whether something is moral just because it is someone’s choice. He also discusses the value of life at all stages and not just during the easy stages.
  • Physician-Assisted Dying: A Clinician’s Perspective
    • This opinion article from Medscape tells two personal stories that illustrate why the clinician who wrote the article is against physician assisted suicide.  He brings up the point that the willingness of terminally ill patients to die is an ever-changing emotion, and because it is impossible to determine how someone will feel from day to day, this practice should not be allowed.
  • Should doctors help people die? Another perspective
    • This opinion column from the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel delves into the moral reasoning behind the opposition of physician assisted suicide.  The main argument presented in this article is that more emotional care needs to be given to those seeking to end their lives rather than the means to terminate it.
  • Why assisted suicide should not be legalized
    • This article from Texas Right to Life explains in detail why physician assisted suicide should not be legal.  Among the topics delved into are mental health issues and pain control.

Neutral

  • Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal? Poll Shows Divide Among Experts
    • This article from the Huffington Post reveals the findings from a poll given in 74 countries to gather views on physician assisted suicide.  The article explains what this practice entails and addresses arguments of both proponents and opponents.
  • Belgium approves assisted suicide for minors
    • This article from Deutsche Welle, a German news source, addresses the Belgian parliament decision from February 2014 to legalize physician assisted suicide for minors.  The article explains the ruling in detail and then explores both positive and negative reactions to the decision.
  • Right-To-Die Conference In Chicago Draws Protest
    • This recent CBS article addresses the physician assisted suicide protests taking place in Chicago and presents rationale brought forth by forerunners from both sides of the issue.
  • State-by-State Guide to Physician-Assisted Suicide
    • This page from ProCon.org is a resource for physician assisted suicide in the United States.  If offers information on legality in different states, details on judge rulings, and the crime status of physician assisted suicide in states where it is not legal.
  • Physician-Assisted Suicide Program Rarely Used, Study Finds
    • This article from U.S. News presents a study that found physician assisted suicide is not commonly used in the states where it is legal.  This study could be used as an argument for either side of the issue.
  • World Laws on Assisted Suicide
    • This website serves as an international resource to physician assisted suicide.  It breaks up different world regions based on continent and provides information about the legality of physician assisted suicide.
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