Death with dignity, the right to choose how you die

Death with dignity or the right to die how you choose, should be allowed for people with terminal illness. There are many arguments for death with dignity and against it. If you are sick, in a lot of pain and misery, and the doctor told you that you had little time left, you should have the right to choice how and when to die. 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 moral, 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, with the legalization of assisted suicide, 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.

Many court cases dealing with end-of-life

There have been many court cases dealing with the end-of-life issue, Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, Estelle Browning, and Terri Schiavo. A few of these case remained true to their religious beliefs and did not consider the right to die as suicide or a mercy killing.

The outcome of many of these cases made people more aware that they needed to document their end-of-life wishes before they became disabled or incompetent. Living Wills were aggressively promoted by America’s euthanasia advocates as a means through which individuals could indicate ahead of time that they wanted to refuse certain types of medical treatment, including food and water, if they should become incompetent or otherwise unable to speak for themselves.

The use of Living Wills became ever more common in America in the wake of the Cruzan case. An important case in the Florida state court established the right to die by refusing artificial nutrition and hydration, as well as unexpected medical treatment. This case involved Living Wills and the right to refuse, not only treatment, but food and water as well, in order to make sure that death would occur.

This case could be characterized as establishing a right to suicide. The court held that the execution of a Living Will allows caregivers to withhold food and water, as well as artificial life support, from an incapacitated person, even when death is not imminent.

Terri Schiavo's case has permitted Florida nursing homes and hospitals to more easily end the lives of the disabled and elderly, based on a persistent vegetative states diagnosis, even when patients have not indicated their end-of-life wishes in writing and are not terminally ill. Families or guardians only need to state that death would have been the patient’s wish, even when other family members might disagree. This trend is spreading to other states, whose legislatures are also enacting laws favoring death over life.

Judges and doctors, as well as some families, use a quality of life standard to determine that a patient would no longer wish to live.

Whose right is it to choose?

Who has the right to choose how you die? You do, and the death with dignity laws allow this. Death with dignity gives people who are terminally ill a dignified way to exit, and one without severe pain and discomfort. 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 suicide for these patients.