Thursday, May 3, 2007



*Attention getting device- (( American social reformer and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Jane Addams, once said, "Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics." In simpler terms, she is saying that the things you do, reflect on your morals and what you might believe.

*Preview of main points- People can either choose to be for physician-assisted suicide, or against it. Some reasons people are for it are because it will end someone's painful suffering, and it's a way for someone to control their life. Some people are against it because they feel it goes against their ethics, and it is a form of "suicide."

*Transition to thesis statement/main question or point of the paper- Physician-Assisted Suicide is a form of euthanasia, and it is a very controversial topic that is going on right now. People can either choose to support this issue, or go against it.

BODY PARAGRAPH 1((For Physician-Assisted Suicide)):

*Topic sentence about one side of the issue- Many people support physician-assisted suicide because it will end the patient's painful suffering.

*Research and quotations from sources to prove the topic sentence is correct- Although Oregon continues to be the only state to allow physician-assisted suicide, other states such as California are also trying to legalize it. These states all contain different reasons for wanting to pursue physician-assisted suicide but the the one reason that all of these states have in common is the fact that it will end painful suffering for patients with a non-curable illness. There are guidelines however for this law. First of all the patient must be an adult that requests the lethal drugs, but if for any reason the patient cannot make a decision for example because they are in a coma the doctor must make it for them. The patient must also have only six months or less to live, if not they are not eligible for the "Death with Dignity" act. The patient must also be found by two doctors to be mentally well, meaning not suffering from such things as depression. In Oregon and other nations such as the Netherlands if a person reaches those expectations they can take a drug that will take away their pain and suffering, and also kill them. Although someone who uses this "treatment" may be a family member or friend, at least they are no longer enduring painful suffering.

BODY PARAGRAPH 2 ((For Physician-Assisted Suicide)):

*Topic sentence about one side of the issue- A main reason people argue to support physician-assisted suicide, is the fact that people should be able to control their own lives, and determine how and when they will die.

*Research and quotations from sources to prove the topic sentence is correct- Carol Levine, an author, editor and a former member in the MacArthur Foundation has had some experience with patients who suffer from terminally ill diseases. She finds the main reason people choose to request a life-ending drug is so they can control when they leave. Many people have had so much control in their life, and they want to keep that control up until their death. This way patients with a terminally ill disease can choose when and how they will die, under certain circumstances.

BODY PARAGRAPH 3 ((Against Physician-Assisted Suicide)):

*Topic sentence about the other side of the issue- Many people are also opposed to physician-assisted suicide because they feel it goes against their moral or religious values.

*Research and quotations from sources to prove the topic sentence is correct- The decision of physician-assisted suicide varies in all religions, ethnicity, or political preference. So, this decision is based on self opinion. When deciding whether or not to take the route of ending your life by the hand of a physician, it is decided ethically, not medically (Jeffrey A. Schaler). In Field Poll Surveys taken since 1979, it shows that the religions of Protestant, Catholic, Born-again Christians, and other/no preference ranges from 54-80%. Although that might seem like a big difference, in reality it's not. Basically from those statistics it shows that whatever religion someone comes from that it doesn't say if they're for physician-assisted suicide or not.

BODY PARAGRAPH 4 ((Against Physician-Assisted Suicide)):

*Topic sentence about the other side of the issue- Some people are also opposed to physician-assisted suicide because it is a form of suicide. Physician-assisted suicide can also be called "Death with Dignity,"Aid in Dying," or other ways that do not include "suicide." But, just because they don't contain "suicide" that doesn't mean it's not a form of it.

*Research and quotations from sources to prove the topic sentence is correct- When people usually commit suicide they are found to have a mental illness, a mental illness violates the rules of being able to perform physician-assisted suicide, so just because the person does not have a mental illness, it doesn't make suicide right. The terms usually used to describe physician-assisted suicide are "Death with Dignity," "Life-Ending Choice," or "Aid in Dying." Even though those terms do not contain the word "suicide" they still mean the same thing as physician-assisted suicide. Although suicide is not a criminal act, it still isn't right, no matter how you do it. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "suicide" as the act of taking one's own life, or self-murder. Most people think of physician-assisted suicide, as suicide, but it could also be taken as homicide. Either way is a bad way to think of it, but they're both true. The worst part is, is the fact that when people think of it as homicide, that is a burden on doctors.

BODY PARAGRAPH 5 ((Persuasive Paragraph-Against)):

*Topic sentence stating your position on the issue- Although both sides of this issue have some very good arguments, I choose to be against physician-assisted suicide.

*Reasons and research that say why you chose this standpoint- There are several reasons why I choose to be against physician-assisted suicide. One of them is based on morals. I myself am a Born-Again Christian, and in the Field Poll Surveys that I discussed earlier, 54% of them were for physician-assisted suicide. I personally think that is too high, so I do not go based on my religion, just on my personal beliefs (ethically). Another reason I choose to not support physician-assisted suicide is the fact that it can be taken as suicide or homicide. I don't believe either of those terms are right and I think those are both criminal offenses. Since homicide is illegal everywhere else, it should not change when it gets into the hospital.


*Re-state thesis- Physician- Assisted Suicide is a main topic that keeps coming up in the senate, but it is a tough issue to pass when many people are either for it or against it.

*Review main points- Many people when choosing to be for physician-assisted suicide are because it will end miserable suffering, or it gives someone a way to control the way and when they will die. When people are against this issue it is usually because they feel it disagrees with peoples morals and values, or because of the fact it could be considered "suicide."

*Use an attention-getting device to send the reader off in a thought-provoking manner- (( American Media personality, Phil Donahue once said, "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Although terminally-ill patients do not have a temporary problem, an unknown source asks, "Why kill yourself? Life will do it for you."


*8-10 Sources

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Annotation 7: Google Scholar-Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Attitudes and Experiences of Oncology Patients, Oncologists, and the Public

Although euthanasia is meant for the terminally-ill, some people with depression or other mental illnesses are more likely to request the use of physician-assisted suicide than those with physical pain. In a poll taken, most patients with physical pain did not support the use of physican-assisted suicide. Many patients feel it is a burden on their families.

Annotation 6: ProQuest-Los Angeles Times

Author: Geoffrey Nunberg

This article discusses the wording of the use of physician-assisted suicide. In a survey, 75% of adults supported "ending the lives" of the terminally-ill. When worded differently, only 58% agreed to the "physician-assisted suicide." So, people wonder if the wording of it changes the way people feel about the whole subject. Some sources even considered changing titles to give it a better meaning and make it sound not so harsh.

Annotation 5: ProQuest-U.S. Newswire

This article discusses the suicide rates in California and Oregon. Although Oregon has the option of physician-assisted suicide, it has more actual suicide killings happening than in California not including the physician-assisted suicides. California feels that if they approve the law they will have even more suicides occuring, other than those of physican-assisted.

Annotation 4: ProQuest-The Sacramento Bee

Author: Daniel Weintraub

Carol Levine, who has gone through many difficulties in death and diseases, but still opposes the physician-assisted suicide. She feels that there are other options that people can look to while dying. For example, the patient could have someone to talk to and care for them. Many doctors also might have difficulties performing the action of giving someone a lethal injection for they see death as a failure. No one wants to be a person to kill someone, so why would a doctor have to be the victim?

Annotation 3: SIRS-Right-to-Die Issue 'Around to Stay' As California Proponents Regroup

Author: Steven Harmon
July 12, 2006
San Jose Mercury News

This article discusses the want for the terminally-ill to end their own lives in California. This issue has been discussed tons of time in California and they still have not passed it, but it will keep coming up. In polls taken for the "want" of the law shows that usually over 50% of people of all types, politics, religions, and races support the bill. In the bill it gives rules and outlines for the law including the consent of patient, and after 15 days get another consent.

Annotation 2: SIRS- If you Think Doctor-Assisted Suicide Puts People in Charge of Their Own Lives, Think Again

Author: Jeffrey A. Schaler
August 2003

This article mainly focuses on the differences between euthanasia "suicide", and regular suicide. The author states that suicide is mainly put across people with mental illnesses, and is illegal. So, why should it be legal for someone to "kill themselves" because they're in physical pain when it is illegal for someone to kill themselves because they're in mental pain. He also suggests that physician-assisted suicide isn't necessarily suicide, it is more of legal homicide by the doctor. The government is also suggested to be in control of your body during euthanasia. It says that when you want to kill yourself because of mental illness, that's your control. If you want to "kill yourself" because of physical pain that is the government's control.