Death With Dignity: Where do you stand?
In 2008 Washington state passed a law which legalized Assisted Suicide, also known as Death with Dignity. This procedure is not available to just any patient. The patient has to meet certain requirements as well as submitting formal requests. The requirements are as follows:
• Has to be 18 years of age or older
• Has to be a resident of Washington, Oregon, or Vermont
• Diagnosed with terminal illness that will lead to death within 6 months
• Has to be capable of making decisions with a sound mind
• Have to be able to request Death with Dignity 2 times verbally and one time written
• Need to have confirmation from two different physicians
• Have a signature from two witnesses, they cannot be related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Secobarbital is the drug most commonly used in Oregon for patients requesting death with dignity, the dosage is usually 9 g in capsules, or 10 g of pentobarbital liquid, to be consumed at the same time. The physicians should add a sweetener to the liquid to dull the bitter taste.
In 2014, a 78-year-old man wanted to receive assisted suicide. He had survived polio in the 1940s, and knew his fate when he found that it had returned to his body 64 years later. He lived in the state of California where Assisted Suicide, also known as Death with Dignity is illegal.
Many people think that the benefits of legalizing physician assisted death to allow people to end their life in a peaceful state instead of living an unstable life of pain and suffering. Denying a patient death with dignity could push the patient into depression and suicide. On the other side, many religions are against any form of suicide; it also contradicts the Hippocratic Oath.