Taking Pills Jumping off Building Cutting yourself Hanging yourself Shooting themselves High speed crashes
Smoking Hang gliding Driving under the influence of alcohol whenever death results. Starving ones self
Providing means to end someone else’s life(drugs or equipment) Not Treating a patient Being present during another’s suicide without intervening (not having an active roll in it) Assisted suicide is declared by the law to be murder, irrespective of the wishes or the condition of the party to whom the poisons administered.
January 11, 1983 Nancy Beth Cruzan she lost control of her car and thrown into a ditch. She went 12-14 minutes without oxygen. When paramedics arrived they tried to revive her. Later she was diagnosed with permanent brain damage. Was in permanent vegetative state and received artificial nutrition and was NOT placed on a ventilator. Parents new she would not regain normal mental capacity and her parents recommended that the nutrition and hydration be removed. The hospital refused. The state trial granted the parents request. The Missouri State Supreme Court refused the parents request. The court insisted that the parents would have to show that would beyond a reasonable doubt would be withdrawn from treatment.
Refusing treatment is not an affirmative act “causing” death, but merely a passive acceptance of the natural process of dying. The distinction between action and inaction has some bearing upon the legislative judgment of what ought to be prevented as suicide.
Dr. Harold Glucksberg along with 4 other physicians, patients and a non profit organization councils individuals contemplating physician assisted suicide. The State of Washington has historically criminalized the promotion of suicide attempts by those who “knowing cause or aid another person to attempt suicide.” The doctors challenged the state of Washington ban on physician assisted suicide. Glucksberg alleged that Washington’s ban was unconstitutional. Court ruled in favor of Glucksberg and fellow petitioners and the 9 th circuit affirmed and the Supreme Court granted Washington’s law should be under review.
In the Quilnan case, young Karen went into a vegetative state due to anoxia. Karen’s father sought approval to remove his daughters respirator. In the end, the court had decided to let the parents take charge of whether she would want this to be done to her. After Quinlan, most courts have based a right to refuse treatment whether solely on both the common law right to informed consent or constitutional privacy act.
The state has interest in human life and also it has an interest in preventing abuses that would occur if human life were to be lost.
The fourteenth amendment provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” …Because of the 14 th amendment it is making it hard define what is “suicide” and what is not. Oregon is the only state with the Death and dignity Act, which also legalized PAS in 1994.
Supporters of assisted suicide claim that all persons have a moral right to choose freely what they will do with their lives as long as they inflict no harm on others. Those who appose the assisted suicide argue that society has moral duty to protect and to preserve all life. Doctors are required to take a Hippocratic oath and that assisting in suicide would be a direct violation of that oath. Religious opponents argue that God should decide the time of death.
Supporters of physician assisted suicide believe that it is an ethical procedure to let patient die with dignity rather than suffer with pain. Lawmakers also believe that once the state has the right to assisted in suicides of terminally ill patients, assisting in the suicides of chronically ill patients will e next. Physicians also engage in a practice called terminal sedation of barbiturate coma. This practice involves the administration of drugs designed to reduce the patients pain and suffering, but have the effect of keeping the patient unconscious until death comes.
Is it unjustified killing to honor the request of a family member who wishes to have life-sustaining treatment withdrawn from a loved one who is not dying buy will remain in a coma for many years? Do you think the State should be involved in the final decision of a loved one?
If physician-assisted suicide were constitutional, would certain groups-the poor, the elderly, the disabled- be in danger of having their lives shortened against their will? How seriously do you think the justices consider the ethical, medical, and social problems raised by patients who experience intractable pain and suffering?