Death with dignity or the right to die how you choose is an issue that has been more in the spot light with the death of Brittany Maynard being publicized and posted all through Facebook and Twitter last week. The decision of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard to end her life Saturday November 1, 2014, put an unlikely face to the death with dignity movement; one of a vivacious young woman, with a long life ahead of her. Maynard’s death elevated the attention to the debate nationally, especially among young people. In addition, the death of Brittany Maynard had a few people commenting on Twitter about her death with dignity. One commenter on Twitter posted, “RIP #Brittany Maynard. To die with dignity still eludes many. May you find peace.” There was another commenter that had mixed feelings. “Brain cancer is a horrific way to die but, being raised traditional Catholic, suicide still a no-no,” a commenter wrote.
RIP #Brittany Maynard. To die with dignity still eludes many. May you find peace.
— Achyuth Punnekat (@achyuthpunnekat) November 3, 2014
Mixed feelings about Brittany Maynard. Brain cancer is a horrific way to die but, being raised traditional Catholic, suicide still a no-no.
— featherchick (@featherchick) November 3, 2014
There are many arguments for death with dignity and against it, with the recent news of Brittany Maynard and her death with dignity on Saturday November 1, 2014, many more people are aware of the debate for the law to be in every state. The article previously written in the examiner on this subject did not address any ethical or moral or even religious issues in choosing how to die zoomdune.com/article/seniors-is-it-sucide-to-die-with-dignity-or-the…. The ethics on death with dignity continues to be debated even in the states that it is legal. Many individuals argue that death with dignity is ethical because it may be a rational choice for a person who has a prognosis of six months or less. The rational choice to die at their choosing to escape unbearable suffering is a choice many can understand and accept. Others have argued it is unethical because it is the duty of the physician to preserve life, and have the patient fight for life. In addition, the legalizing of assisted death, many fear abuses would take place. Furthermore, many feel it is making murder and suicide legal. In addition, death with dignity should not be equated with physician assisted suicide.
According to the Death with Dignity advocates it is ethically justifiable for the following reasons:
- Decisions about time and circumstances death are very personal. Every competent person should have right to choose death.
- Competent, terminally ill patients are allowed to hasten death by treatment refusal. For some patients, treatment refusal will lead to more suffering. Therefore, justice requires that we should allow assisted death for these patients.
- Suffering means more than pain; there are other physical and psychological burdens. It is not always possible to relieve suffering. Allowing terminally ill people to determine the timing and manner of their deaths is a compassionate response to unbearable suffering.
- Though society has strong interest in preserving life, that interest lessens when a person is terminally ill and has strong desire to end life. A complete prohibition on assisted death excessively limits personal liberty.
- Assisted death already occurs in secret. Morphine drips supposedly used for pain relief may be a concealed form of assisted death or euthanasia. In states without Death with Dignity laws, open discussions between patients and physicians are avoided and prohibited. Legalization would promote open discussion.
Those who argue the death with dignity should remain illegal often offer arguments such as these:
- The argument of the sanctity of life. This argument stems from strong religious and secular traditions which disagree with the death with dignity moral grounds. This country is founded on the principal of separation of church and state. Why should anyone, presume to tell someone else how much suffering they must endure while dying?
- The argument that there’s a difference between passively letting die and actively killing argues that treatment refusal or withholding treatment equates to letting die, whereas Death with Dignity laws allow terminally-ill, mentally competent people to hasten their own deaths.
- The argument of potential abuse in the belief that certain groups of people, lacking access to care and support, may be pushed into assisted death. Independent studies have found no evidence of risk to individuals in any groups.
- The argument pointing to the historical ethical traditions of medicine, strongly opposed to taking life. The Hippocratic Oath states, “Be of benefit, or at least do no harm. If do no harm isn’t letting a patient suffer until death doing harm. Moreover, harm is different for every patient. Harm for some patients could be forcing them to die according to how their bodies decide instead of how they decide.
- The concern that physicians will make mistakes, and there may be uncertainty in diagnosis and prognosis. There may be errors in diagnosis and treatment of depression, or inadequate treatment of pain. As a consequence the State has an obligation to protect lives from these inevitable mistakes. http://www.deathwithdignity.org
Many health care professional believe that death with dignity is ethically justified in certain cases. In addition, many people of the general public feel letting someone suffer to die are unethical. Terminally ill patients do not want to die, but when someone if facing an imminent death, and most after long and painful efforts to cure their illness. Many heroic efforts to palliate symptoms with excellent pain and symptom management some find the dying process unbearable and want to achieve a peaceful death. Patients that choose to death with dignity do not consider they are committing suicide and are very offended, stigmatizing about the inaccurate assumption on them. Many have publicly expressed that the term is hurtful and derogatory to them and their loved ones.
The moral issue of death with dignity as stated before is the sanctity of life. Death with dignity allows someone who is terminally ill to accelerate a certain and unavoidable death. It is not suicide, and it is not euthanasia, but a possible option if the pain from the terminal illness gets to be too much or if their quality of life becomes too dishonored. Death with dignity is the leading edge of public policy that is working to ensure the rights of patients on this important final journey, Death with Dignity is not only a legal issue, but also a cultural and spiritual issue. There are many religions that feel that any termination of life before god has called the person to heaven is not what god has proclaimed in his word, and reject it is as a morally bankrupt practice In addition, some faith traditions have embraced Death with Dignity as an ultimate act of compassion. More pros and cons of a spiritual, cultural issue can be explored at death with dignity website at http://www.deathwithdignity.org.
Death with dignity is not suicide not is it Euthanasia, it is a choice to die without suffering, and die with dignity and peace. The moral and ethical issues of suicide do not apply, and it is a way to sanctify life and give a suffering person peace and closure with family. Death with dignity allows someone who is terminally ill to accelerate a certain and unavoidable death, with a possible option if the pain from the terminal illness gets to be too much or if their quality of life becomes too dishonored, to die with dignity and peace.