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Assisted Suicide Ethics

Satisfactory Essays
Elliot Hunter
Ethics 0641
Mr. Holder
4/18/2014
Physician Assisted Suicide
In recent years the media has shifted more focus on the hot topic of physician assisted suicide. This expanded coverage has caused an ever widening gap on both sides of the debate because of the ethical concerns that come along with this act. Due in part to the advancements in modern medicine, assisted suicide should be viewed as a morally correct decision for individuals to make for themselves when there is no overcoming a life impairing mental or physical ailment. This form of medicine should only be used when the individuals have exhausted all possible procedures and options and the have a bleak chance on being healthy once again. The results of assisted suicide can be viewed as morally correct in regards to consequentialism, social contract theory, as well as deontological ethics. The act of assisted suicide can be viewed as selfless if one does not ultimately want to be a physical or monetary burden on other individuals. A patient can also help to save others in regards of organ donations. We as a country need to learn to observe the choices of the terminally ill patients and understand when they want to concede in their battle. If a person chooses to end their life, it should not be viewed as a sign of weakness, but rather as a statement that this individual does not want to suffer anymore.
Take for instance the case of Matthew Donnelly. Mr. Donnelly’s body was riddled with skin cancer from years of working with X-rays. Mr. Donnelly had been in a declining state of health for years and he wanted to be alleviated of this pain. He had lost his nose, his left hand, two fingers on his right hand and part of his jaw. Since his state had no rules for assist...

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...feeble. Ultimately, it should be the patient’s decision on when they should be able to give up on the fight of their life. There should be an easy and painless experience such as physician assisted suicide when one feels the need to not experience suffer anymore. In the views of consequentialism the only thing that matters is if the patient finds peace and is no longer in pain. As well with social contract theory, if we are to make physician assisted suicide legal there needs to be a strict set of guidelines and rules set up so patients can be at peace without others manipulating the system. And finally, it is our duty as humans to make sure that all our actions are to be legal and ethical in regards to assisted suicide. Physician assisted suicide will still be a hot topic for years to come and the ever growing debate will help to push it further into the headlines.
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