Doctor-assited Suicide Should Be Legalized For The Terminally Ill – Research Paper Example

At the Doctor’s End In 2000, Dr. Diane Meier from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, conducted a survey which included 902 doctors. The doctors surveyed specialized in cancer, infectious diseases, aging and diseases affecting the nerves, lungs, and kidneys. These areas of medicine frequently involve cases in which is requested doctor-assisted suicide. It was found in the survey that 6.4% of the doctors confessed that they helped no less than one patient to commit suicide. The actual percentage of such doctors is generally speculated to be much higher as many doctors are unwilling to reveal the criminal acts in which they have been involved (10).
It was also revealed during the survey that doctors who practice in specialties, in which they are likely to care for dying patients, frequently face requests for assisted suicides or euthanasia. It was also found through the survey that 29% of the total surveyed doctors decided to assist in the suicide because their patient was experiencing severe pain. Another 78% of the doctors decided to perform euthanasia because the patient was facing unbearable discomfort other than pain, such as depression and fear from dying. Among the surveyed, 53% of them said that they assisted suicides through lethal injection while the others wrote medial prescriptions that would cause their deaths (10).
Therefore, this survey has shown that the doctors do not always honor the requests of assisted suicides. Instead some doctors help only those who are terminally ill, in extreme pain, and show no signs of improvement. Even though these suicides are illegal in the US, 6.4% of the doctors admit their involvement in assisted suicides. It is a fact that these numbers are actually much larger than that. Therefore, if doctor-assisted suicide is legalized, the government can develop clear guideline for doctors and this would determine which patients would receive the benefit for the doctor-assisted suicide (10).
Doctor-Assisted Suicide: a Mercy or Homicide?
3299 cancer doctors were surveyed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology regarding the controversial issue of doctor-assisted suicide and the doctor’s experiences (12). Of the doctors surveyed, 25% of them supported the idea of assisting terminally ill patients with suicides (12). 10.8% of the doctors surveyed had taken part in doctor-assisted suicide during their careers (12). Most of these doctors seemed to have training in end-of-life care as the percentages of doctor-assisted suicides have decreased from 45% to 25% since 1994 (12). These doctors have not yet got a chance to think whether doctor-assisted suicide is a mercy or it is an alternative to a homicide.