Florida House debates physician-assisted suicide

Terminally ill patient with loved ones sitting bedside
Photo courtesy: crossroadshospice.com

House Bill 1231 gives a new meaning to taking your life into your own hands.
But that’s what would happen if Florida joins the list of states and countries that permit
medical aid in dying, also known as physician-assisted suicide.

The Florida End of Life Options Act, introduced by Representative Daryl Campbell, D-
Fort Lauderdale, would let terminally ill individuals make an oral or written request for
medication to end their lives peacefully.

The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and terrible sickness or in an
irreversible coma is known as euthanasia.

California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Maine, New Jersey,
New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington are among the states giving terminally
ill patients this option.

Not everyone agreed on the controversial subject of whether terminally ill patients
should be given a choice. Twenty-three-year-old Tallahassee native John Manson
changed his mind after personal experience.

“I used to be strongly against every kind of euthanasia. The thought of killing someone
horrified me. Many things have changed, I've had experiences that have changed my
mind, and I no longer have any ethical or moral dilemmas when it comes to death,”
Manson said.

Patients will be bound by strict conditions under this measure before they may ask for
the medicine to make critical decisions in their lives.

The patient must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Florida, according to the
proposed statute. The attending physician, or the doctor who is primarily in charge of
the patient's care and the management of the patient's terminal disease, must decide if
the patient is competent to make the choice.

Over 133 million Americans, or more than 40% of the population, suffer from chronic
diseases, which are typically incurable and ongoing, according to the
nationalhealthcouncil.org . In the U.S., chronic diseases entail high financial and health

Some see this as a means for folks who are suffering to pass away peacefully, and the
government saves money because they opt for this course of action rather than being
compelled to survive.

Voters in Oregon became the first in the US to adopt a law in 1994 that permits a doctor
to give a terminally sick patient a deadly dose of medication for self-administration.
This bill is currently being reviewed in the House in the Healthcare Regulation