Paper – legalizing physician-assisted suicide
Paper focuses on the topic of legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Physician-assisted suicide, which is currently legal in Oregon, Washington, and Montana, promotes human dignity by allowing those in the last stages of potentially painful and unbearable illnesses to end their lives on their own terms. A discussion of the general nature of rights, patient autonomy, the relief of suffering, and the physician’s obligation to his or her patient forms the bases for legalization. Analyzing the laws in the three states where this practice is legal indicates that with proper safeguards, extensive oversight and reporting, death with dignity is a good and safe option. Finally, physician-assisted suicide will impact the legal profession by compelling attorneys who represent patients or physicians who are participating in this practice to be objective in advising their clients in the legal structure of this practice.