Lauren Norris- PAS final paper (1)

Lauren Norris- PAS final paper (1) - Norris 1 Lauren Norris...

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Norris 1 Lauren Norris Dr. Tara Wood Rhetoric 351 17 April 2017 Physician Assisted Suicide Imagine you or someone you know lying in bed in constant pain and turmoil, not able to do a single thing for yourself anymore, just wasting away and suffering. Now imagine living like that each and every day for months or even years. That is the sad reality of many chronically ill patients here in the United States. It’s seen that, “incurable and ongoing chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country, and in 2020, that number is projected to grow to an estimated 157 million”(National Health Council, 2017). The question that arises here is, do we prolong a life that’s full of suffering or do we help it? According to the Regence poll, “ Americans believe it is more important to enhance the quality of life for seriously ill patients, even if it means a shorter life (71%) than to extend the life of seriously ill patients through every medical intervention possible (23%)”(New Poll). The reality of more people living with, suffering from, and ultimately dying from a chronic condition requires us to think about death and dying in a whole new way, which is being able to end our own life when we please. This is why physician assisted suicide should become legal in all 50 U.S. states when it comes to illnesses that can’t be cured or helped. However, current laws in most U.S. states do not allow suicide to be assisted in any way, therefore forcing patients that wish to die to do so in a way that is often an undignified and
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Norris 2 disturbing death. As stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, how do we as human beings of the United States of America have the right to, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, if we can’t deny any of these on our own free will? How do we have a right to our own life if we can’t choose what to do with it, whether it’s to live or die? Therefore, we have another reason why physician assisted suicide should be legal in all U.S. states because it’s the person’s right to decide to end their life in a way they believe to be a considerate and majestic manner. To understand more on why it’s a person’s right to end their life, we first need to better understand physician assisted suicide, and what it actually is. “ Physician-Assisted Suicide is where patients with a terminal diagnosis (life-limiting disease) formally request a prescription for a fatal dose of a drug which they can administer to themselves at a time of their choosing” (Administrator, 2017). Physician assisted suicide is not done by anyone else but the person wanting to die. It’s to help support the fact that people can make their own decisions, and just because you have a physician giving a med that will kill you, it’s not the physician that’s actually doing the killing. Physician assisted suicide has had many arguments though against it and one
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