Considering the following scenario:
A person is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The illness is progressive, and over the next 12 months this person will go from being fully functional to being totally unable to control his own body. Virtually everything—eating, dressing, toileting, etc.—will have to be handled by other individuals. Assume also that after 6 months the patient will begin feeling physical pain that will increase until they need to be constantly medicated. The disease has no treatment and no cure, and has a 100% mortality rate between 16 and 18 months. The patient, understanding the nature of his condition, goes to his doctor after 3 months and asks if she will help him end his life in a painless and dignified fashion.
Do you think that the doctor should agree to the request?
If this scenario occurs in a state where physician-assisted suicide is not legal, would you prosecute the physician for helping the patient if you were a state’s attorney?
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