Physician assisted suicide is where by a physician facilitates the patient with information on how to end life having in mind that the patient is likely to end his or her life (Dowbiggin, 2007). Euthanasia refers to when a physician ends the life of a patient to relieve him from miseries of pain and suffering. It is also referred to as mercy killing. The decision to end the patient’s life can be reached by the patient or by someone else, when the patient is not in a position to make a decision. Euthanasia can be done by withholding life-supporting medication or administering lethal medical substances to the patient (Kapp, 2009).
Main body Over the years there has been a controversy relating to physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. Some physicians view it as a violation of fundamentals of medicine and the Christians have come out strongly to say that it is wrong according to the Christian faith. Many countries have prohibited the practice of both euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. However, in the United States of America state laws have been set to govern physical assisted suicide and euthanasia since different states have a different stand on the two issues. The state of Hawaii allows neither physical assisted suicide nor euthanasia.
It operates on the fact that death occurring because of removing life-supporting procedures cannot be classified as suicide. Its laws also operate on fact that declaration of having intentions to end ones life does not result to suicide attempt. The state of Oregon however allows physician assisted suicide and operates on the rules that; • The patient is supposed to request his or her physician in written form in the presence of two adults who should not be family members. • Two doctors should give consent on the diagnosis and access the capability of the patient.
• The patient is the only person who can direct the prescription to him or herself. However, the state of Oregon clearly condemns euthanasia and operates on the fact that, as long as one administers nutrition artificially, hydrates him or herself and prohibits procedures of life sustenance this does not amount to mercy killing. The state of Arizona does not also allow or authorize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia it operates from the face health care providers should follow the chapters and allow patients to die due to natural circumstances (Rothschild, 2006).
Physical assisted suicide and euthanasia might be similar in terms of, they are both related to ending human lives and physicians are greatly involved in the decision-making. They are also called acts of mercy because they are supposed to reduce pain to the patients. However, Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia differ in the following ways; in physical assisted suicide the physician is the one who provides the patient with the information needed on how to end life and the patient is the one who ends his life, while in euthanasia it is the physician who ends the life of the patient (Pozgar, 2009).
The physician does this by either pulling off the life supporting machines or giving them the medical substances, which are fatal to end their life. Another difference is that in euthanasia, the patient does not need to give consent for his life to be ended or have the required information on how to end his or her life. Conclusion The controversy surrounding these two issues is a major one and the decision to end life has been left to individuals. Even though laws have been set to govern the decisions revolving around euthanasia and physician assisted laws, most of them are set on different religious grounds.
REFERENCES Dowbiggin, I. (2007). A Concise History of Euthanasia: Life, Death, God, and Medicine. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield. Kapp, B. M. (2009). Legal Aspects of Elder Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Pozgar, D. G. (2007). Legal aspects of health care administration. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Rothschild, D. A. (2006). Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide: the law and the case for reform. Clayton VIC: Monash University.