Right to Die. Right to Die. Choices for dying patients and their families due to technology What constitutes a “good death” Most people die in hospitals with staff trying to keep patient alive until no chance of recovery Most people want total effort to fight off death.
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There may come a point when the fight no longer seems worth it
Those patients may find their wishes and those of their families overlooked as physicians juggle medical, legal and moral considerations
Patients undergoing minor surgical procedures are routinely asked if they would like to fill out a document, known as an “advance directive” or “living will”
Court rulings have firmly established a patient’s legal right to discontinue life sustaining treatment, such as respirators or artificial nutrition
Debate over these decisions is far from settled- Terri Schiavo’s case went on for 12 years
Another issue is whether individuals should be able to ask physicians to hasten their deaths- in effect, help them end their lives- and whether it is morally acceptable for physicians to do so
Many people say they would rather die than suffer in great pain or endure life trapped in a vegetative state
Should individuals have the right to decide when and how they will die?
Chronic physical pain?
Debilitating, although not fatal, illness?
Allow patient to issue directives, not just preferences, about end of life care and treatment
Expand hospice care
Remove barriers to effective pain management- such as overly restrictive regulation of narcotics
Except when patients explicitly decline further treatment, physicians must make every effort to sustain life
Any compromise in the commitment of medical professionals to protect and extend life would undermine the public’s faith in the medical profession