soc m138-physician assisted suicide
soc m138-physician assisted suicide Sociology M138
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Tuesday April 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology M138 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Timmermans in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Death, suicide and trauma in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 04/19/16
Soc M138 4/18/16 ● According to the MerriamWebster dictionary, Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is: suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided (not administered) by a physician who is aware of the patient's intent. This is controversial though because the point of trying to diminish suicides, is to prevent them not to assist them. As we learned in previous lectures, suicide was considered a sin and crime during the 16th century and would result in punishment. Thus, suicide obviously carried a negative connotation and damned the soul to hell. This lead people to find ways to maneuver around this negative connotation [act of crime] (and still go to heaven) such as by killing a child in order to be prosecuted and be sentenced to death (a person who commits murder can still repent and go to heaven whereas someone who commits suicide goes directly to hell). What distinguishes suicide and PAS, and thus why PAS is not considered a sin or a crime, is thatPAS is state sanctioned (the state approves PAS) ● Other forms of PAS ○ Euthanasiadoctor administers death i.elethal dose of medication ○ Double effecttreatment of a patient inevitably leading to death iea nurse who is trying to reduce pain, gives a patient a high dosage of pain medication even though s/he knows that this dosage will result in death (death is indirect) ● PAS across the country ○ Switzerland ■ PAS legal since 1942 ■ Terminally ill patients have increasingly traveled to this country in recent years ■ Video clip: PAS to patient; patient is peaceful, joking and happy; patient wants to die with dignity ○ The netherlands ■ PAS legal since 1980, euthanasia remains controversial→ only 2% of deaths have been caused by euthanasia ■ Euthanasia is legalized in 1993 ■ Revision to PAS in 2002, death is expanded to children and newborn in 2005 ■ Default=euthanasia (euthanasia is the automatic response when there seems to be no other alternative, in terms of the dying) ● The disabled become scared and begin wearing cards expressing their wishes to live ● The battle to legalize PAS ○ Case of Elizabeth Bouviapatient diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, goes into the hospital and requests PAS after her body suddenly freezes, the staff deny her request arguing that she is not mentally competent and attempt to keep her alive. Case is taken to court, psychologist deems Bolivia as mentally competent, Bouvia Soc M138 4/18/16 travels to different states for PASno one helps, Bouvia wins her case although she no longer wishes PASshe desires a natural death ○ Jack Kevorkian A.K.A Dr death ■ Creates a suicide machine in 1980 which contains an IV and a lethal dose of medication. The point is that the patient is given full control in administering his/her own death (although a doctor must insert the IV). ● First used by someone with Alzheimer’s ■ There was no law against this so Kevorkian is not incarcerated; Kevorkian’s medical license is revoked→ forces Kevorkian to switch to using Carbon Monoxide→ (assists 40 suicides by 1996). Kevorkian is convicted of a crime in 1998, released in 2007 (130 in total assisted suicides (25% of patients were actually terminally ill (the rest weren't)) ■ Criticism: most of the patients who participated in PAS were not terminally ill and could have lived if they had sought out other alternatives ○ Death with dignity act1994 ■ Oregon becomes the first state to legalize PAS (majority of Americans favor PAS) ● Requirements for PAS: Patient must be an adult, patient must be a resident of Oregon, patient must be able to make communicative decisions, patient must be terminally ill and determined to have at least 6 months to live,patient must make 2 oral requests within 15 business days, patient must make a written request signed by 2 witnesses, patient must be diagnosed by two doctors who also determine the patient’s capability to make decisions, patient must contact his/her next of kin ● First PAS in 1988 ● 2007: 85 prescriptions were written which 46 patients actually consumed→ 26 die ● Total: 341 (most patients are elderly white males with a college education, and are insured) ■ California ● Case of Brittany Maynard ○ Patient with terminal illness, diagnosed with less than 6 months to live is denied PAS in CA→ she and her family move to Oregon to fulfill her request ○ Maynar is approved for PAS and makes a youtube video in order to have the laws changed in CA, she argues that terminally ill people have the right to die and end all financial and psychological costs as a result. She herself had the benefit of having the resources in order to leave her country and move to Oregon for PAS she argues that others do not have the opportunity to just “get up and leave” for financial reasons or whatever the case may be. Furthermore, by Soc M138 4/18/16 moving to Oregon, Maynard was forced to leave her friends and community behind, her main objective was so that she can obtain PAS as still die with ignit, she also wanted to end her family’s suffering and spend the last of her days in full control of her lifeshe wished to die spending her last few days with friends, family and outdoorsNOT sick and in pain in a hospital bed ■ June 9 2016: end of life option act expected to pass ○ Not dead yet ■ A group of activists with handicaps who go against the approval of PAS ■ The main argument the activists make is that a disability is sufficient reason for a doctor to want to administer PAS, and thus, the disabled are their most probable target ■ Furthermore, these activists argue that most of the time, doctors are wrong in their diagnosis, others feel that the disabled and elderly are unimportant to society, and that assisted suicide will be administered coercively ■ Additionally: health care costs were cut at the same time that PAS began rising
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