I'm doing a debate on "physician-Assisted Suicide" Could someone help me with their views to debate this: a woman in Portland oregon was one of the 1st  known person to choose physician-assisted...

I'm doing a debate on "physician-Assisted Suicide"

Could someone help me with their views to debate this:

a woman in Portland oregon was one of the 1st  known person to choose physician-assisted suicide under Oregan law authorizing physicians to prescribe doses that terminally ill patients can use to end their lives.

she died shortly after swallowing a lethal dose of barbiturates she washed down with Brandy. She was suffering from terminal breast cancer n was given 2 mths to live.  she was looking forward to to it, she said "I will be relieved of all the stress". she was tired of fighting the disease. she couldn't see herself living longer like this. 

Oregon's 1994 "written request for medication to end one's life in a humane and dignified manner" or death with dignity act is the 1st physician -assistant suicide measure passed by any state.  the measure doesn't permit a physician to play an active role in ending a patient's life. The major provision of the measure is that it allows physicians to prescribe lethal drugs for terminally ill patients without risking criminal prosecution.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, the question of humanely assisting in the termination of a human life is fraught with controversy. This question recalls the name of Dr. Jack Kervorkian, who assisted with numerous assisted suicides, some of which were not terminal cases. 

In an interview Kevorkian had stated,

"What difference does it make if someone is terminal? We are all terminal." In his view, a patient did not have to be terminally ill to be assisted in committing suicide, but did need to be suffering. However, he also said in that same interview that he declined four out of every five assisted suicide requests, on the grounds that the patient needed more treatment or medical records had to be checked.

Now, the laws of three states--Oregon, Montana, and Washington--permit assisted suicides, for only the terminally ill and the patient him/herself must terminate life; the physician only prescribes the drugs used for this purpose. So, because the laws are much more definitive, some people feel that such acts are ethical and humane, especially those people who also believe that terminating a pregnancy when there are serious medical and genetic problems is also humane and ethical. They argue that since abortion is legal, so, too, should physician-assisted suicide be legal.

Another problem with continuing the life of a terminally ill person may become even more important in the future: the cost. And, some argue, if people are euthanized, it will save the family from going into debt. However, a counter-argument to euthanasia is that people may become insensitive to the importance of life.

Thus, from a purely reasonable point of view, it seems to be as legal for a person to terminate a life that is destined to end shortly and to end the pain and financial and emotional strain put upon family and friends as it is to terminate a tragic pregnancy. On the other hand, religious beliefs do not hold with these ¨reasonable¨ arguments, claiming that only God has ownership of life or death. They argue that abortion should not be legal, either.

When questions and principles of people's religious beliefs enter into any debate, there can rarely be any resolution other than the religious resolution because the appeal on this side is to a higher power than man.

There are many debates on this topic, most of which involve people's feelings. Interestingly, a debate held on Debate.org showed a division of 41% no and 59% yes.