A discussion of the pros and cons of assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

This paper debates the topic of euthanasia or assisted suicide for those that are dying and suffering constant and severe pain. This can range from cancer to AIDS patients. It examines the current laws in America today in various states regarding euthanasia and discusses whether assisted suicide should be legalized and if it was, who would make the final decision, the patient, the doctor or the court.
“An elderly woman in her eighty’s lies in the hospital bed with severe pain and anguish. Her husband quietly holds her hand. She begs the doctor to take her life so she is not such a financial burden to her husband and she won’t hurt anymore. Tears flow down her cheeks as she says, “I am going to die with cancer anyway. I want to die with dignity.” What position should nurses take when it comes to this delicate subject? If you were a physician, would you assist in her death? The population of terminally ill patients can be defined as a patient who has no chance of recovering from an illness that are “suffering constant and severe pain” (Bopp and Coleson 1999). This can range from cancer to AIDS.”