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Elderly or Terminally Ill and Drug Regulations

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By denal
Words 973
Pages 4
ACS 242 Mini Project #5 for extra credit
By: Dena Lovtang


Should the elderly or terminally ill people be exempt from drug regulations because their life expectancy is short? Should they be given maximum pain relief and or whatever pleasure they can gain from the drugs?
I chose this subject as it hits close to home. Last year my grandma whom was 92 and in a lot of pain was authorized to have the death with dignity medication put on her list of medications that she could order if she felt it was needed. At first my mother and I thought well it was a good idea since she was so miserable. Later that year she called my mom one day and said “order the Medication I am done” my mom was shocked and asked her what was going on she said her cable was out and she just did not want to go on living like this. We got the cable working and she then chose to cancel the order for the medication. At that point I realized how they must feel and what things we take for granted that are everything to an elderly person in this situation. I think they should be able to have it available but I think there needs to be a close watch on who is making the decision as you can see my grandma could have ended her life over cable TV. Here is some information I found on the subject at hand.
A person diagnosed with a terminal illness as determined by medical professionals should be allowed to have any drug they want for any reason, including euthanasia or recreation. Since they are at the end of their life additional pain and suffering is unnecessary and if a person knows the rest of their life will be pain there is no point in forcing them continue through it. Other terminally ill people might want to take drugs to alleviate pain and might find available prescriptions inadequate. Still others might want to experience certain substances recreationally before dying. Since they are already about to die death and addiction to the patient are not compelling reasons to stop them. In this case for some drugs regulations could be in place to allow only in a medical setting such as a hospital or hospice to prevent sharing or prevent the patient from harming others. Most importantly some patients deemed terminally ill might want to try experimental treatments in order to have a shot at life.
For drug-related harm, many harms wouldn't apply to the case of the terminally ill. The person is already dying, if it's legal there's no incarceration, and for productivity terminally ill people often can't work or choose not to anyways, because they don't want to spend the end of life working.

Violence is a preventable risk. Drugs could be limited to in-patient use. Security training, hiring security, and using door locks and restraints could be used. To lower the risk any number of regulations can be used while still allowing the drugs. If a drug has a higher risk of violence or makes the patient harder to control it could be limited to a securer room.
As for medical costs these can be limited by making the patient pay for the drugs, and security services.As for euthanasia, my opponent brings up nonconsensual euthanasia. The debate is over whether "The Terminally Ill Should Be Allowed Access to Any Drugs They want". Letting the terminally ill use any drug they want doesn't mean we must let doctors euthanize patient’s nonconsensual.
As for underreporting we can require reports. This would make all drug administration’s easy to monitor to make sure they are following regulations. Records could be reviewed to look for violations. Unreported cases might still happen, but unreported administration of drugs to patients for any purpose would be just as illegal as it already is. Letting the terminally ill have drugs they want in a regulated system would lower unreported cases since if the patient requests it the doctor has no reason not to follow regulations but with it completely illegal a doctor would have to keep it a secret.
As for an implied "duty to die" since drugs are only given to the terminally ill even if someone felt pressure from family to die to save money they'd need to be near death already to get euthanasia. And most families wouldn't tell the person to choose euthanasia to save money. There are probably some, but common sense is that more would be urging their loved ones to go on some even afraid that if they choose euthanasia they will receive eternal damnation. It's more likely for a patient to be pressured to live than die. Even if pressured from family they're not likely to concede. Putting money first shows a lack of love which would likely get the patient to respond with defiance. If a patient chooses euthanasia because they believe they have a "duty to die" its because of their own personal beliefs, not pressure. But a patient might be pressured with a "duty to live". Since pressure not to euthanize doesn't show a lack of love patients who'd otherwise euthanize might choose not to if their family is against it, especially if they fear they'd have eternal torment. The possibility of some patients feeling a "duty to live" isn't a reason to make euthanasia mandatory so the possibility of some patients feeling a "duty to die" isn't a reason to have euthanasia illegal.
Besides to force patients in excruciating pain to suffer because others might feeling pressured to choose euthanasia if allowed wouldn't be fair. Even with pressured they still have a choice. It's their responsibility to say no, not the state's responsibility.

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