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Dying With Dignity - Positions

Jul. 10th, 2006 12:10 am Dying With Dignity

Resolved: that the federal government adopt Oregon's "Death with Dignity" Law.

Among our inalienable rights are the rights to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Therein lies another important right, the right to die without financial desperation, without pain, and without excrutiating suffering. Euthanasia has become a controversial issue following the passing of Orgegon's death with dignity law. In our society it is the moral thing to do to let pets die with dignity, why is this standard not the same for humans? It is my highest belief that human beings given a death sentence have the right to a peaceful passing.

+All patients requesting Euthanasia must be fully aware of their actions.
"To request euthanasia according to Oregon's law, one must be 18 years of age or older,capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him/herself, and diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months. It is up to the attending physician to determine whether these criteria have been met.*" Arguments have sprung up worried about the fate of the disabled, the mentally ill, and other people unable to control their fate. However, this is clearly not the case, for the patients must be of a legal age and in full understanding.

+To prescribe euthanasia doctors must be qualified.
One objection to this drug is that it would be used improperly to assist angsty teens with suicide, or to end the lives of mentally disabled children. However this is unquestionably false, for patients who meet the aforementioned standards may only request a perscription from a physician who is a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) licensed to practice medicine by the Board of Medical Examiners.*

+Those who morally object to euthanasia would not be required to fill prescriptions.
Oregon's law states that the physician must be willing to participate in physician-assisted suicide. The process would be completely voluntary and health organizations such as a a Catholic hospital or a Veterans Administration would be able to prohibit the practice.

+Although some describe euthansia as "playing God," when dealing with the prolonging or not of ones life, one is always altering the course of the universe.
"Are you "playing God" when you pull the plug...or when you put it in?**"

"The law makes every attempt to ensure that patients who engage in physician-assisted suicide are doing so voluntarily, fully informed, and with the ability to make rational health care decisions for themselves.*"

"The patient must meet certain criteria to be able to request to participate in physician-assisted suicide. Then, the following steps must be fulfilled: 1) the patient must make two oral requests to the attending physician, separated by at least 15 days; 2) the patient must provide a written request to the attending physician, signed in the presence of two witnesses, at least one of whom is not related to the patient; 3) the attending physician and a consulting physician must confirm the patient's diagnosis and prognosis; 4) the attending physician and a consulting physician must determine whether the patient is capable of making and communicating health care decisions for him/herself; 5) if either physician believes the patient's judgment is impaired by a psychiatric or psychological disorder (such as depression), the patient must be referred for a psychological examination; 6) the attending physician must inform the patient of feasible alternatives to assisted suicide including comfort care, hospice care, and pain control; 7) the attending physician must request, but may not require, the patient to notify their next-of-kin of the prescription request. A patient can rescind a request at any time and in any manner. The attending physician will also offer the patient an opportunity to rescind his/her request at the end of the 15-day waiting period following the initial request to participate."



*http://egov.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/pas/faqs.shtml#whocan
**http://www.togopeacefully.com/DEITY.html

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