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Physician-assisted suicide presents one of the greatest dilemmas tothe medical profession Should someone who ismentally competent but deemed terminally ill be allowed to engagein physician-assisted suicide According to theFirst Amendment of The Constitution of The United States one hasthe freedom to petition the government for aredress of grievances The Fourteenth Amendment states The Statecannot deprive any person of life liberty orproperty without due process of law nor deny any person within itsjurisdiction the equal protection of the laws Thegroup believes that a terminally ill patient has the Constitutionalright to decide whether or not to end his or her life withthe help of a licensed medical doctor There have been many cases overthe years where a terminally ill patient who ismentally competent has made the choice to either partake in physician-assistedsuicide or euthanasiaPhysician-assisted suicide occurs when the physician provides thepatient with the means andor knowledge tocommit suicideDeath and Dying91 Euthanasia is when the physicianadministers the death causing drug oragentDeath and Dying92 The most recent case is that of The Stateof Florida v Charles Hall Charles Hall isdying of AIDS and challenged the State of Florida to let him die bya self-administered lethal injection without fear ofprosecutionhttpwwwrightsorg deathnetopenhtml On January31 1997 a Judge ruled that Charles Hall couldtake his own life with the aid of a doctor Senior Judge S JosephDavis brought in from Seminole County found thatFloridas strict privacy law and the equal protection clause in theUS Constitution entitled Hall 35 and Dr McIverto carry out an assisted death without fear of prosecution Sun-Sentinel1A On February 11 1997 Charles Hallsruling was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court he no longer hasthe right to end his own life He will have towait until May 9 1997 until new arguments will be heard Hall whohas been deemed mentally competent contractedthe virus in 1981 through a blood transfusion Some of the complicationshe is encountering from the AIDS virus arearthritis hepatitis pneumonia and a brain cyst httpwwwrightsorgdeathnetopenhtml The Oregon Death
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