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Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide refers to a practice in which a physician, upon the patient's request, provides a competent, terminally ill patient with a prescription for a lethal dose of medication that the patient intends to use to end his or her own life.

Such practice is most commonly referred to as physician-assisted suicide. Those who oppose using this term because of the stigma around suicide feel that it might be better to call such practice die with dignity, patient-directed dying, or physician aid-in-dying. It is important to differentiate this practice from euthanasia, which is an illegal termination of life by another.

The use of this practice is debatable and controversial at best. There are many ethical issues involving the voluntary termination of life. Supporters of assisted suicide claim ...

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