answer the following questions about the paragraphs posted below, offering the writer comments and/or suggestions:
1. Is the first sentence the topic sentence? Write the topic sentence here:
2. Do the second and/or third sentences explain or clarify the topic
sentence, or define terminology with which you might not be familiar?
3. Does the evidence presented seem to support the topic sentence?
Does the evidence wander off onto other topics?
4. Are there at least four quotations and/or paraphrases in the paragraph?
5. Is each quotation or paraphrase introduced so that you know a little bit
about the source or author from which it came?
6. Is each quotation or paraphrase properly cited with a page number or paragraph number in parentheses at its end?
7. Does the writer explain every piece of evidence, showing how it
supports the topic sentence?
8. Does the writer use clear, direct language so that you can understand
what he/she is saying?
9. Is there a concluding sentence that sums up the paragraph and relates everything back to the thesis statement?
10. Are transitions used throughout the paragraph to show where the
material is heading?
11. Where do you want to see more evidence (second sentence, fourth
12. What type of evidence would you like to see in each of these
13. In which places do you think the writer presented too much material
14. In which places do you become bored?
15. In which places do you become confused?
16. What else would you like to see in the paragraph?
17. Are there problems with punctuation in the paragraph?
18. Are there problems with grammar in the paragraph?
19. Are there overly-long or unwieldy sentences in the paragraph?
20. What do you like best about the paragraph?
Death has never been an easy topic but being that a patient has the given right to choose when the pain ends gives them time to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally. For most people emotional detachment is easy. On the other hand, there are people who believe family means everything. The bond a family holds is so precious and pure it is irreplaceable. Recently I came across an amazing story about a young girl named Brittany Maynard who touched the lives of Americans with her courageous fight against a brain tumor. In an article on the CNN website, Catherine Schoichet quoted Brittany in an interview. She wrote, “I will die upstairs in my bedroom with my husband, mother, stepfather and best friend by my side and pass peacefully. I can’t imagine trying to rob anyone else of that choice.” (CNN) Brittany’s word choice rob struck me by surprise. Patients truly do feel as if the state is robbing them of their rights. A story such as Brittany’s changed the way I viewed Physician Assisted Suicide. Brittany fought for her right to Physician-Assisted Suicide, moving from her home California to Oregon to exercise these rights. Brittany was filled with love, happiness and joy even after she was diagnosed, she believed, “It is the people who pause to appreciate life and give thanks who are happiest. If we change our thoughts, we change our world! Love and peace to you all”.(CNN) Brittany was ready to declare peace with not just her sickness but with herself. She did not lose hope, rather she gave herself the acceptance to rest in peace. Many people fear death, but how can we fear something that we don’t know? The truth is once you’ve become acceptant to death you have become courageous, strong and fearless, who are we to say life after death isn’t more amazing than life on earth. Brittany explains her biggest fear, “The worst thing that could happen to me is that I wait too long because I’m trying to seize each day, but I somehow have my autonomy taken away from me by my disease, because of the nature of my cancer”.(CNN) Brittany’s story was one of the most positive stories I have read. On November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard chose to end her life in Portland, Oregon leaving her family and loved ones behind becoming the first advocate for legalization of medical aid in dying. Many times people try to live their life to the fullest today because tomorrow isn’t promised. Well, what if tomorrow comes sooner than you think, in cases such as Brittany she accepted her sickness overnight because she did not have any other options. People should not feel judged because of the decision they make in regards to their own life. The death with dignity organization protects the rights of patients who are terminally ill and helps them exercise their rights as an American citizen. If a patient cannot live their dream to die in peace, why pass a law in which states they have the liberty to do so. Physician Assisted Suicide allows a patient to be mentally and emotionally ready to let go. The majority of the time the hardest part are the families who hold on. One author describes this situation perfectly in his book Death With Dignity: The Case for Legalizing Physician-Assisted Dying and Euthanasia by Robert Orfali. He states, “The bottom line is that there is no real lobby for the terminally ill. Instead, there’s a grassroots movement that is both altruistic and selfish. It’s altruistic because we want to help our loved ones die better.It’s selfish because we are also helping ourselves die better. Let’s face it were all going to die someday.” (12) This is very true, we will all eventually have to accept death one way or another. Old, young, healthy or sick there is an end for all of us someday. Why not allow those who have to accept death quicker and severer than others to have the option of not suffering.
Another controversial discussion that has awakened in healthy is the Voluntary refusal of foods and fluids. Voluntary refusal of food and fluids is different from Physician Assisted Suicide because it legally allows a patient to end their life in the United States of America. Meanwhile, authors Teresa Harvath, Lois Miller, Elizabeth Goy, Ann Jackson, Molly Deloris and Linda Ganzini, publish an article in the International Journal of Palliative Nursing, “Voluntary refusal of food and fluids: attitudes of Oregon hospice nurses and social workers”. In this article nurses and hospice workers express their opinions on the Voluntary refusal of food and fluids versus Physician Assisted Suicide. “ Not only did hospice workers report a more supportive attitude towards VRFF than PAS, they expressed greater comfort in discussing VRFF with patients and colleagues than PAS.” (240) Discussing death is never easy. The right to allow a patient to end their life by refusing help, refusing food and refusing fluids is accepted in America. Refusal of food and fluids is basically allowing a patient to die suffering slowly. Although many nurses and hospice workers agree with it, I believe it isn’t right. “ They equate VRFF with suicide and argue that if physicians believe that suicide is not permissible, then VRFF is also not permissible, even for competent patients”. (237) Overall suicide is suicide, wether you’re allowing a physician to insert lethal doses of drugs or denying food and fluids harm is still being done. The difference between Voluntary refusal of food and fluids and Physician Assisted Suicide is the amount of time VRFF takes compared to PAS.The support of VRFF in hospices give patients an acceptance of not being judged in which makes it an easier decision to make rather than Physician Assisted Suicide. “A number of reports in the literature propose VRFF as an alternative to PAS and euthanasia. Others staunchly oppose VRFF of at least suggest that it is not necessarily a ‘reasonable’ alternative to PAS. Some assert that VRFF is a ‘purely personal act’ and that physicians are absolved of any responsibility because they play no active role in hastening death”. (236-237) In other words, anything that has to do with suicide is not accepted by a physician and goes against the Hippocratic oath.
In addition to Physician-Assisted Suicide, Voluntary refusal of food and fluids many believe those seeking suicide are suffering from depression due to a health issue. Being that a patient is suffering from depression they are unlikely to be in the right state of mind when making such a decision. For instance, author’s Burke Balch and Randall O’Bannon write about their opinions in legalizing assisted suicide in the article Medical Ethics Department “ Why Shouldn’t We Legalize Assisting Suicide, Part 1: Suicide and Mental Illness”. The authors state, “The suicidal person suffering from depression typically undergoes severe emotional and physical strain.This physical and emotional exhaustion impairs basic cognition, creates unwarranted self-blame, and generally lowers overall self-esteem, all of which easily lead to distorted judgments. These effects also contribute to the sense of hopelessness that is the primary trigger of most suicidal behavior.” (Paragraph 5 lines 6-10) Most patients become depressed after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, leaving them no other options to survive. A terminal illness is not only physically stressful but also mentally and financially. Families that are left in debt after giving their all to prolong a loved one’s death. “During the period of their disorders, these individuals usually see life as much more traumatic than it actually is and views temporary minor setbacks as major permanent ones.” (Paragraph 6 line 15) Maybe in some situations, patients do blow things out of proportion but to choosing to end their life must mean they are suffering mentally and physically. Depression is very common in society although we do not always see it. “If society creates a right to suicide” and legalizes “physician-assisted suicide,” the message perceived by a suicide attempter is not likely to be, “ we respect your wishes,” but rather, “we don’t care if you live or die.” (Paragraph 2 lines 10-16) On the contrary, patients who have survived terminal illness manage to become mentally unstable even after recovering. The decision a patient makes to end their life does not necessarily mean they are not in the right state of mind but simply tired of suffering and prolonging the inevitable.
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