Dr Oz: Right To Die Suicide Debate
Dr. Oz and his guests tackled the sensitive and controversial subject of whether patients should have the right to choose to end their lives. Montel Williams suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and said he believes that the concept of human “dignity is an individual thought” and cannot be dictated or mandated by a collective group.
Dr Oz: Multiple Sclerosis & Right To Die
Dr. Oz met Danny, a sufferer of Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Danny now spends his life in a wheelchair, and when he was diagnosed, his wife left him, taking their children with her.
Despite these setbacks in his life, Danny is glad that he did not follow through on his desire to die at the low point in his life. Today, he has found love once again, and is excited about the future. He hoped that fellow chronic pain sufferer Dana would change her mind about wanting to end her own life.
Dr Oz: Multiple Sclerosis Patient Montel Williams
TV personality and MS sufferer Montel Williams did not believe that turning patients against one another would not lead to a productive discussion. Dr. Oz said he wanted to share perspectives from both sides of this emotional debate.
Dr. Keith Ablow believes that the medical community has an obligation to give patients hope, no matter what their circumstances. He is happy that Danny came through his struggles and is living a happy life today. His hope is that Danny’s story would inspire others, like Dana, who are struggling with chronic pain.
Dr Oz: Oregon Suicide Survey
Montel used the State of Oregon as an example of a progressive approach to this issue. Oregon compiled data from patients who expressed a desire to voluntarily end their lives.
The results of their study found that the majority of people who shared a stated desire to die were doing so because they felt they had lost their dignity as people and wanted others to respect their right to die. The study concluded that depression was not a factor in their wishes.
Dr Oz: Suicide Moral Objections
Dr Oz’s audience members all had their own perspectives on this complex legal and moral debate. One woman said she sees any and all life as a gift from God, and that he is the only entity with the right to take that gift away.
Audience member Debbie said her mother suffered with breast cancer, and a doctor helped her mother end the suffering by taking her life. She said the decision was not made because of depression, and that she died at peace and in comfort.
Debbie is from New Zealand, and Euthanasia is illegal in that country as well. Now she works with a group called Compassion and Choices that seeks to reform suicide laws and bring the practice of Euthanasia into public acceptance.
Dr Oz: Gustin Reichbach Right To Die
Gustin Reichbach is a New York Superior Court Justice battling Pancreatic Cancer. Despite his diagnosis, he is passionate about staying alive. He was diagnosed three years ago and radiation has allowed him to still enjoy life.
Though he admits that medicine can only prolong his life, not enhance its quality, he is glad for the opportunity to do so. He believes that the government’s role in this debate is to ensure that no patients are taken advantage of.
He said that ensuring terminally ill patients are making competent, rational choices, is the most intervention the state should have when it comes to the Right to Die. He believes they cannot require people to go suffering out of moral obligation.
Dr Oz: Should Doctors Assist Patients With Death Poll Results
In a viewer poll, Dr. Oz fans weighed in on the question: “Should doctors assist patients with death?” Here are the results Dr. Oz shared:
- Yes – 54%
- No – 37%
- Undecided – 9%