Under what circumstances is it legal in Washington State for someone to request assisted dying? Do you think there are adequate safeguards in place? Why or why not?
Death with dignity is a pattern in which the law provides an opportunity to the people to meet with death on their terms. Many states in the US offer this opportunity to the patients who are suffering from severe diseases and terminally ill. Washington States DC is one among these states, which are providing this opportunity to die with dignity in the form of an act. Washington State Act allows the residents of the state who should be adults and can request the lethal doses of medication from a doctor. Only terminally ill patients are allowed to request Death with Dignity, and allowed to end their life through proper medication process. These adults should have six or less than six months to live their lives (“Death with Dignity Act:: Washington State Department of Health,” 2018).
Why do people explore this option? What are the effects of legalizing this option? How often is this option utilized, and by whom? Use the data from both Oregon and Washington.
People who are suffering from terminal illness are allowed to explore this option. The doctor should declare terminal illness, and the patient does not have any sign of improvement. Several patients in the hospitals are suffering from severe terminal illness, and they are silently waiting for their death. So, it is a good option to legalize the death of these patients who are in pain, and there is nothing someone can do for them. Washington DC enacted the act of Death with Dignity in 2009, whereas Oregon enacted this act in 1997 (Oregon Health Authority, 2016). Both states allow the patients suffering from a terminal illness that they could request for Death with Dignity, and the doctors will write them lethal doses of medications, so that they could die with their will and to end their sufferance of pain.
What topic did you choose to learn more about, and what did you learn? Please include a link and reference to the source. Were there any controversies raised? Were there differences in what the article and the documentary reported?
I decided to learn more about this topic “Death with Dignity” or “Assisted Suicide.” I have explored the countries other than the United States which are offering this opportunity to their patients and allow them to die with their own will. It includes Switzerland, Netherland, Columbia, and Belgium (“Assisted Suicide Laws Around the World – Assisted Suicide,” 2015). I have learned and analyzed that “Death with Dignity” should be allowed all over the world but under certain securities, laws, and its implementations. In the documentary, it is shown that many organizations that are working for “Right-to-die” include several people in their list which are not terminally ill and just want to be dead (The Suicide Plan, 2012). It is a serious social issue, in which people who are suffering from pain and terminal illness allowed to end their lives. But not the ones who want to commit suicide. The laws of “Death with Dignity” should be implemented but always under critical conditions, in which only the patients who are terminally ill and the doctors issue their report of illness are allowed to take advantage of the law.
- What is your reaction to studying this topic? What are your beliefs and feelings about death and dying, and how were your perspectives informed? Did the reading and documentary change your perspective? If so, in what way(s)? Feel free to share any personal experiences you have with death and dying, although you are not obligated. You may wish to also discuss your fears and concerns about facing end of life issues personally and for your loved ones.
My reaction is in favor of this law, and I am positive about that the patients with the terminal illness should have the right to end their lives because they are going to be dead soon. So, why they live only to wait for their death? It’s even painful to imagine this situation. I realized that it is good for these patients that they are allowed to have medications and peacefully die, rather than to keep them alive, and they only have to suffer the pain and wait for their deaths. The documentary and the related material is helpful to determine what is happening in the world and what are the scenarios in which this social issue is happening. I just thought that, If any of my relative, a friend, or my sibling have to face this situation, then what will be my reaction? I am the one who does not want their suffering, and I cannot imagine that they only have to wait for their death due to their terminal illness. It is painful for me to end their lives, but it is not painful for them who are suffering. If they want to end their lives peacefully, I will surely help them because I love them and I want their peace not their painful condition.
Assisted Suicide Laws Around the World – Assisted Suicide. (2015). Assistedsuicide.org. Retrieved 7 March 2018, from https://www.assistedsuicide.org/suicide_laws.html
Death with Dignity Act :: Washington State Department of Health. (2018). Doh.wa.gov. Retrieved 7 March 2018, from https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/DeathwithDignityAct
Oregon Health Authority. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year18.pdf
The Suicide Plan. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/suicide-plan/