The article, introduces us to a woman
that is terminally ill with brain cancer, named Judith Dunning. She was waiting
for California to make it legal for her to end her life. She had several rounds
of treatment however, the cancer progressed, and she now needed an aid to help
with daily events. Ms. Dunning had recorded a video of her wishes, before the
law passed in California, and before she lost her ability to speak. It also
talks about the states that have adopted or are in the processes of adopting
the physician Aid-in-Dying laws. Aid-in-Dying was already legal in Washington,
Vermont, Montana, and Oregon, and gaining popularity in many other states which
gives hope to those who have thought of this as an option. The law in Oregon
was adopted in 1997, and states that an individual must have two physician
approvals and must have mental capacity to make medical decisions in order to
receive a prescription for lethal drugs. Aid-in-Dying has always had resistance
from the catholic church, disability-rights activists and others that have
religious objections. Even the term Aid-in-Dying has created some disagreement
on what to call it. The general social surveys have asked this question since
the mid-70’s, with no defined answer. The article also talks about how the law
addressed mainly a “rich white person issue” because of the fact that Oregon
has a white majority. However, the states that have the law or have the law in
legislation are prominently non-white majority. Even state medical societies
have changed their views on the idea of Aid-in-Dying, to not for or against the
idea. Even though it has gained support the idea had set backs because of the
lack of providers, cost, and the hoops one must go through. The medical cost,
and the setbacks haven’t caused the idea to lose traction and still could be
passed in other states in the near future. Ms. Dunning finally got her wish to
die with assistance in her home with her family, by taking prescription drugs.

              I think
that the ethics behind assisted suicide is a huge gray area that can’t be
easily defined on any level. And we can only imagine what the individual is
going through to want to end their own life. I fall on the side been against
the idea of doctor assisting in such actions. As a doctor the oath to do no
harm is taken by everyone, and assisting someone in taking their own life goes
against that. My view is kind of skewed, due to watching my father die of
cancer. I had this discussion with him on occasion, and it never felt right to
me. I couldn’t and still feel like it wasn’t an option in my eyes. However, I
can understand the want to end the suffering of the patient.  I can see the ideas of both sides, but for me
I don’t think it’s the way it should be done. There should be some type of
mediate to discourses the feeling patient, grieving of the family, and the
overall prosses.  

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