Due to Kevorkian assisting in the death of those that did not fit into the terminally ill' category, patients now have to be more informed about their illness, so that they are aware of what their final options may be.
When a physician has diagnosed a patient with a terminal illness, it is vitally important that the physician provides valid information, about the illness the patient is suffering.
It was also reported by Keenan that Kevorkian's male patients had severe terminal illnesses that left them incapable of living, while the female patients suffered from breast cancer and other illnesses that are curable (16).
There are still some, however, who argue that the right to assisted suicide is not a right that can be given to anyone at all. This claim is countered by a judge by the name of Stephen Reinhardt. According to an article in the , Judge Reinhardt ruled on this issue by saying that “a competent, terminally-ill adult, having lived nearly the full measure of his life, has a strong liberty interest in choosing a dignified and humane death rather than being reduced at the end of his existence to a childlike state of helplessness, diapered, sedated, incompetent” ( qtd. in Beck 36). This ruling is the strongest defense for the right to assisted suicide. It is an inherent right. No man or woman should ever suffer because he or she is denied the right. The terminally ill also have rights like normal, healthy citizens do and they cannot be denied the right not to suffer.
If people started believing that their physician would act this way, many would start to wonder about the commitment their physician had to his/her patient with a terminal illness (Johnson and Koop 52).
People were given life for a reason, and whether that reason is to work through a terminal illness or to make it through life without any health problems, nobody should be able to choose their time of death.
The fact that almost everyone with a terminal illness, who wants to end their life, fits the clinical guidelines for a psychiatrist to label them depressed (Shavelson 40).
The issue of becoming dependent on others during a terminal illness shouldn't make the patient feel bad because they have, most likely, helped someone out at their time of need (Parry 21).
People also believe that since sending criminals to prison is viewed as a positive idea, it should be acceptable to help those with terminal illnesses end their lives when they have done nothing wrong, but only want to help themselves (Barnard, C.
People do have a constitutional right to commit suicide, if they are impaired with a terminal illness that can not be cured and they are unlikely to improve, as mentioned earlier in the paper (Worsnop "Assisted Suicide Controversy" 405).
The patient's Right to Self-determination gives the patient the power to decide not only when they die, but also how, because it is in fact their body, their pain, and their life, so what's the point in keeping someone alive if they don't see any reason themselves (Newman 2).
Another source states that, "Since there is no absolute legal, medical, or moral answer to the question of what constitutes a good or correct death in the face of a terminal illness, the power to make the decision about how someone dies can rest with only one individual--the person living in that particular body" (Shavelson 153).
For those people who believe that physician-assisted suicide should be their choice, they feel it should be legalized because: they don't want to go through the suffering caused by the terminal illness, they fear the loss of autonomy/independence, becoming a burden to their family and/or friends, and they also fear dying alone; as previously mentioned.
This man was deemed unworthy of treatment—his life unworthy of preservation—because he was not going to recover from his illness. His life lost its value because of a disabling condition. All of a sudden, suicide become an acceptable choice. If Stroup had not had a strong will to live, he very well might have accepted the state’s estimation of his value. He might have bought into the state’s decision that this was an acceptable time to terminate his own life.
This perspective permeates our society. Consider . In 2008, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Uninsured at the time, he turned to the Oregon state-run health plan for coverage of his chemotherapy treatments. Chemotherapy is expensive, and Stroup received a letter that stated his request was denied. They would, however, pay for physician-assisted suicide. Apparently Stroup had such a low chance of recovery that the state of Oregon decided he was no longer worth treating. We should focus our efforts for people with terminal illnesses on improving palliative care and hospice care, not on assisting in their suicides.