Essay On Dying With Dignity

Essay On Dying With Dignity-18
We worry about the effect of life’s last stage on the character of life as a whole, as we might worry about the effect of a play’s last scene or a poem’s last stanza on the entire creative work.” We ought not insult and diminish this choice by applying an inaccurate, pejorative term. Kathryn L.  Tucker, JD, is the Director of Advocacy & Legal Affairs for the nation’s leading end-of-life advocacy, education and support organization, and teaches Law, Medicine and Ethics at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.--- Is There a Difference Between Suicide and Ending One’s Life?

She points out that the word “suicide” is stigmatized.The nation’s largest public health association, the American Public Health Association, adopted a policy supporting aid in dying, recognizing that: “the term ‘suicide’ or ‘assisted suicide’ is inappropriate when discussing the choice of a mentally competent terminally ill patient to seek medications that he or she could consume to bring about a peaceful and dignified death.” The policy emphasizes: “the importance to public health of using accurate language.” The American Medical Women’s Association has adopted similar policy, as have a number of other national medical organizations.It adds insult to injury by dismissing all that I have already endured; the failed attempts for a cure, the progressive decline of my physical state and the anguish which has involved exhaustive reflection and contemplation leading me to this very personal and intimate decision about my own life and how I would like it to end.” Dying patients who choose aid in dying want to live, as evidenced by the fact that more than one-third of these terminally ill patients don’t ingest the medication even after they obtain it.I cannot dispute when a terminally ill person says that describing them as suicidal is “disrespectful and hurtful.” But I can tell you this.I did not use the word suicide with any intention to be disrespectful or hurtful.“Portraying me as suicidal is disrespectful and hurtful to me and my loved ones.It adds insult to injury by dismissing all that I have already endured; the failed attempts for a cure, the progressive decline of my physical state and the anguish which has involved exhaustive reflection and contemplation leading me to this very personal and intimate decision about my own life and how I would like it to end.” Dying patients who choose aid in dying want to live, as evidenced by the fact that more than one-third of these terminally ill patients don’t ingest the medication even after they obtain it.    But they derive great comfort knowing they have that option.Despite excellent pain and symptom management, some find the dying process unbearable and want to achieve a peaceful death.Patients who can choose aid in dying do not consider that they are committing “suicide,” and find the suggestion that they are deeply offensive, stigmatizing and inaccurate.As I pointed out in my post, I have been a long time supporter of people’s rights to end their lives when they are suffering from terminal illnesses, and of the appropriateness of physicians helping them do this.Thanks to Kathryn Tucker, I will not use the phrase physician-assisted suicide again, except to make sure people understand that the phrase carries connotations that are unnecessarily pejorative.

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