Palliative Care And Suffering Chapter

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¶ … person has the right to live their lives with dignity and freedom, a person also has the right to die with the same dignity and freedom. A person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, for which there is no cure and which causes certain pain, should not be forced to suffer. Likewise, a person should be allowed to choose whether or not to keep their body on life support indefinitely, even if they are in a persistent vegetative state from which no meaningful recovery. The collective issues known loosely as "right to die" comprise various types of physician-assisted suicide, in which a medical doctor can help a terminally ill patient to end their suffering. Right to die legislation, like that recently passed in the state of California, helps not only the patients but also their families ensure all Americans have access to the quality of life they deserve. Promoting similar right to die legislation reflects the fundamental constitutional values of the United States, including due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Waimberg). Unfortunately, right to die issues also seem to conflict with another fundamental American value, that the state does have an overarching duty to protect and preserve...

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The Supreme Court had consistently argued that the right to die conflicts with the state's obligation to preserve life ("Right to Die;" Waimberg). Other arguments against right to die legislation point to fears that the policy might be abused in some way, such as by overly zealous doctors or nurses. The opposite is more likely to happen, though, for in a profit-driven healthcare system, doctors and healthcare administrators have a vested interest in preserving, not ending lives. Parker claims that the medical field is built on a fundamental ethic of healing, and that ending life is contrary to the purpose of the profession. Yet the extension of life at all costs does not seem like an appropriate application of modern medicine, which should devote itself toward the improvement of human life. Extending life does not enhance life's quality -- improving the way people feel, eliminating the root causes of disease. Dying is not, as some would suggest, the worst-case scenario.
The essence of right to die legislation is the elevation of quality of life over quantity. Americans deserve the ability to choose whether or not they want to terminate their suffering. Right to die does not provide physicians…

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References

Brown, Jennifer. "Right-to-Die Initiative Headed for Colorado's November Ballot." The Denver Post. July 5, 2016. Retrieved online: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/05/right-to-die-colorado-ballot/

Parker, Kathleen. "Is 'right to die' Becoming a Form of Health Care?" The Denver Post, 13 June 2016. Retrieved online: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/13/is-right-to-die-becoming-a-form-of-health-care/

"Right to Die," (n.d.). Justia. Retrieved online: http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/amendment-14/35-right-to-die.html

Waimberg, Joshua. "Does the Constitution Protect a Right to Die?" Constitution Daily. 2 Oct, 2015. Retrieved online: http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2015/10/does-the-constitution-protect-a-right-to-die/


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