Lorryn Tardy – critique to my persuasive essay

For this assignment I’ll be workshopping the work of Lisa Oll-Adikankwu. Lisa has chosen the topic of Assisted Suicide; she is against the practice and argues that it should be considered unethical and universally illegal.


Lisa appears to have a good understanding of the topic. Her sources are well researched and discuss a variety of key points from seemingly unbiased sources. Her sources are current, peer reviewed and based on statistical data.


Lisa’s summaries are well written, clear and concise. One thing I noticed is that the majority of her writing plan is summarized and cited at the end of each paragraph. I might suggest that she integrate more synthesis of the different sources, by combining evidence from more than one source per paragraph and using more in text citations or direct quotes to reinforce her key points.


I think that basic credentialing information could be provided for Lisa’s sources, this is something that looking back, I need to add as well. I think this could easily be done with just a simple “(Authors name, and their title, i.e. author, statistician, physician etc.…)”, when the source is introduced into the paper might provide a reinforced credibility of the source.


As far as connection of sources, as previously mentioned, I think that in order to illustrate a stronger argument, using multiple sources to reinforce a single key point would solidify Lisa’s argument. I feel that more evidence provided from a variety of different sources, will provide the reader with a stronger sense of credibility and less room for bias that could be argued if the point is only credited to one source.


One area that stuck out to me for counter argument, being that my paper is in favor of this issue, is in paragraph two where Lisa states that “physicians are not supposed to kill patients or help them kill themselves, and terminally ill patients are not in a position of making rational decisions about their lives.” I’d like to offer my argument for this particular statement. In states where assisted suicide (or as I prefer to refer to it, assisted dying) is legal, there are several criteria that a patient has to meet in order to be considered a candidate. These criteria include second, even third opinions to determine that death is imminent, as well psychological evaluation(s) and an extensive informed consent process that is a collaborative effort between the patient, the patient’s family, physicians, psychologists and nurses. It is a process that takes weeks to months. Patients that wish to be a candidate, should initiate the process as soon as they have been diagnosed by seeking a second opinion. As an emergency room nurse, I have been present for a substantial amount of diagnoses that are ‘likely’ terminal. Many of these patients presented to the emergency for a common ailment and have no indication that they don’t have the capacity to make such a decision. Receiving a terminal diagnosis does not automatically mean that the patient is all of a sudden incompetent or lacks the capacity to make a rational decision. It is at this stage in the diagnoses that patients should be informed of all options, including assisted dying. Once all criterion has been met and approved, the physician prescribes the medication for the patient to have on hand to self-administer when they feel that they are ready, this is a means to avoid the often-unavoidable suffering that comes with dying from a terminal illness. Terminal illness deaths are not the same as dying a natural death, which the majority of the time, can be medically managed much easier to minimize suffering.


Lisa’s sources appear to be credible and relevant. I t appears to me that the first source listed in her annotations ‘ The Case Against Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia’ written by Byrock in 2016, is potentially biased, although seems to be based from peer reviewed sources. Although I feel this source is biased, having an opposing view of this topic, I feel that it will serve Lisa well and give her the information and evidence she needs to formulate a strong argument. Her other two sources appear to be less biased as they seem to provide data and information from both sides of the issue.


Lisa’s writing mechanics are strong. Her writing plan is well articulated and there weren’t any parts that were unclear or confusing to me as I read it. There were not any spelling or grammatical errors that were immediately evident to me.