Assisted Suicide: Unit 6 Assignment

English 101

Assisted Suicide Instructions Follow the directions below to complete the body paragraphs draft assignment for Unit VI. Purpose: This assignment aims to continue drafting your academic argumentative research paper. Description: In this assignment, you will write three to four body paragraphs according to the form that is explained in “Lesson 3: The Body Paragraphs.” The […]

Assisted Suicide Discussion Paper

Assisted suicide is an act of encouraging or helping a person to kill themselves through the application of various methods, namely physician-administered euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Under physician-assisted suicide, a physician prescribes the life-ending medical procedure to a patient who intern administers the medication to himself. However, in physician-administered euthanasia, a physician administers lethal medicinal tools to a patient through injection. In most cases, physicians work with terminal patients who request help in ending their life after contacting counselors and therapists. Before administering assisted suicide, a doctor ensures that the patient diagnoses with a terminal illness, which causes death in not more than six months. Also, mental health and its general functioning, extent of suffering, and patient’s willingness to die is assessed to determine its sufficiency, thus preventing controversies as the patient is subject to palliative care with the help of a specialist.

The most vulnerable population which takes part in assisted suicide is the elderly because most of them are profoundly affected by coercion. According to Breitbart (2014), most elderly patients are highly vulnerable due to coercion during and after the process of assisted suicide, thus raising the need for the presence of a third party to sign for dependent and physically disabled patients. Therefore, it is useful in determining the number of lethal drugs to be administered. Additionally, Paterson (2017) claims that cancer patients are the most affected by incidences of assisted suicide due to the presence of anxiety, adjustment, and affective disorders, which increases the specificity and sensitivity of their psychological makeup. Therefore, various vulnerable groups need to identify psychological makeup through the application of step-wish approaches and valid assessment scales, which applies screening methods, thus useful in diagnosing elements of disorder in cancer and vulnerable groups of patients.

Doctors who administer assisted suicide subject themselves to varied effects of mixed feelings such as anxiety and distress, thus leading to low life. Similarly, the emotional burden associated with assisted suicide ends up affecting doctors’ medicinal practices, thus making them more sympathetic listeners and emotional burnout (Breitbart, 2014). Similarly, Breitbart (2014) adds that doctors end up diagnosing themselves with aggression due to the fear of damaging their social and public reputation, which may develop when assigning assisted suicide drugs. Therefore, a sense of conflict and instability is created within themselves as it requires a total investment of both time and emotions to get rid of the practice. Similarly, the feeling and considerations of doctors need evaluative methods, mainly when patients engage in malicious practices, such as faking a terminal illness (Paterson, 2017). For example, a woman diagnosed with depression may provide falsified and manipulated hospital records to create a history of terminal liver cirrhosis, a disease that is not physically present in her body to deceive a doctor. Therefore, deception is a common practice among patients, especially those diagnosed with depression; thus, patients should develop efficient mechanisms to avoid such practices.

In most countries, such as the United States, patients must meet the set eligibility criteria for assisted suicide to occur, thus preventing rampant cases of assisted suicide. According to Ganzini (2016), for an individual to be allowed to undertake assisted suicide, they must be 18 years and above, a critical evaluation of suffering is performed, and the patient must make a voluntary expression of the desire to die. Similarly, the mental and physical state of a patient should be evaluated before the administration of the lethal drug (Breitbart, 2014). Furthermore, the terminal disease ought to be confirmed and concluded as irreversible and incurable by a consulting physician who possesses the capacity to perform prognosis and diagnosis, thus preventing unethical practices (Dresser, 2017). Therefore, patients wishing to undertake assisted suicide need to understand the complexity of the process, thus preparing them psychologically for the upcoming practice.

Some of the existing causes of assisted suicide include spiritual and body functioning distress, somatic issues, psychological symptoms, and a sense of therapeutic nihilism. However, most causes of assisted suicide are eliminated through the application of diagnosis techniques, which improve mental health and provide palliative care. As society continues with the implementation of supported suicide policies, the analysis and evaluation of user data should be prioritized to provide essential information for understanding the mental makeup of different patients in an assisted suicide dilemma.


Breitbart, W. S. (2014). Suicide-assisted suicide, and desire for hastened death. Psychosocial Palliative Care, 49–54. doi: 10.1093/med/9780199917402.003.0006

Dresser, R. (2017). Dementia, dignity, and physician-assisted death. Oxford Scholarship Online. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780190675967.003.0007

Ganzini, L. (2016). Legalized physician-assisted death in Oregon. QUT Law Review, 16(1), 76.

Paterson, C. (2017). Suicide-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, 103–128. doi: 10.4324/9781315096766-5

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