Assisted suicide has been in the news for a very long time. In Michigan in the 1990’s, Jack Kevorkian made headlines when he brought assisted suicide to the public consciousness. Now, there are several states where assisted suicide is legal.

Regardless of what you think about the practice of assisted suicide, the main debate is about whether it is or is not within the right of a patient to have the option.

For this discussion, post your response to each of the following prompts regarding patients’ rights:

  • According to what you’ve read and learned about patient rights, do you think assisted suicide should be a legal option for terminal patients? Why?
  • What type of health information do you think should be considered in the determination of whether assisted suicide should be an option?
  • In states that legalize assisted suicide, one serious issue is that it creates an incentive for insurance companies to deny terminally ill patients coverage. In many cases, it is far cheaper to cover physician assisted death than to cover expensive and prolonged treatments for terminal diseases. For patients that live in these states, discuss what you think could be done to ensure insurance companies have the patient’s best interests in mind.
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