Critics to the idea of providing dying patients with lethal doses, fear that people will use this type those and kill others, “lack of supervision over the use of lethal drugs…risk that the drugs might be used for some other purpose”(Young 45). Young explains that another debate that has been going on within this issue is the distinction between killings patients and allowing them die. What people don’t understand is that it is not considered killing a patient if it’s the option they wished for. “If a dying patient requests help with dying because… he is … in intolerable burden, he should be benefited by a physician assisting him to die”(Young 119). Patients who are suffering from diseases that have no cure should be given the option to decide the timing and manner of their own death. Young explains that patients who are unlikely to benefit from the discovery of a cure, or with incurable medical conditions are individuals who should have access to either euthanasia or assisted suicide. Advocates agreeing to this method do understand that choosing death is a very serious matter, which is why it should not be settled in a moment. Therefore, if a patient and physician agree that a life must end and it has been discussed, and agreed, young concludes, “ if a patient asks his physician to end his life, that constitutes a request for
One thing that we often hear is that “death is just a part of life.” So often in our day and age do we hear people utter these words. However, death is far more significant and impactful than some would allege. True death is not merely a time when we cease to exist; it is an entombment, a mindset in which we are dead to this world. Throughout our lives, it is true that we can all be dead in one way or another, but it does not have to be that way. When we have our eyes opened to what death actually is, it is far easier to grasp what the true meaning of life is, and to embrace it. Often, we will come across individuals who are enveloped in death and others who are immersed in true life. The shadow of death and entombment lies upon some, encompassing
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.
Giving a patient this option not only allows him or her to abstain from unnecessary pain, but it also allows the patient to die a dignified death. Colleges of the Boston College Law School Faculty Papers explain their views on assisted suicided to readers expressing, “We believe that it is reasonable to provide relief from suffering for patients who are dying or whose suffering is so severe that it is beyond their capacity to bear…The most basic values that support and guide all health care decision-making, including decisions about life-sustaining treatment, are the same values that provide the fundamental basis for physician-assisted suicide: promoting patients’ well-being and respecting their self-determination or autonomy”. The contributing authors make an excellent point stating the same values that are used in prolonging an individual 's life are the same used in assisted dying. Nonetheless, the majority of the United States remains opposed to assisted dying ignoring the individual’s mental, physical, and emotional pain he or she has undergone.With that in mind, this law also ignores the trauma close family members endure witnessing his or her loved ones face such an undesirable
When it comes to the topic of, should physician assisted suicide (PAS) be legal in every state, most of us will agree that its ones decision if they would like to end their own life with the help of a physician that is if they meet certain criteria for their terminal illness which they have so much time to live. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of what makes a terminally ill person qualify for this kind of service and what the guidelines are. Whereas some are convinced that this practice is inhumane and unethical, others maintain that it’s a person’s choice to decide their own death.
Currently, physician-assisted suicide or death is illegal in all states except Oregon, Vermont, Montana and Washington. Present law in other states express that suicide is not a crime, but assisting in suicide is. Supporters of legislation legalizing assisted suicide claim that the moral right to life should encompass the right to voluntary death. Opponents of assisted suicide claim that society has a moral and civic duty to preserve the lives of innocent persons. There is a slippery slope involving the legalizing assisted suicide. Concern that assisted suicide allowed on the basis of mercy or compassion, can and will lead to the urging of the death for morally unjustifiable reasons is understandable. However, legalization can serve to prevent the already existent practice of underground physician-assisted suicide if strict laws to ensure that the interests of the patients are primary are installed and enforced. When a patient asks for assistance in dying, their wishes should be respected as long as the patient is free from coercion and competent enough to give informed consent. The intent of this work is to examine the legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands and to argue that assisted suicide is morally and ethically acceptable in theory despite some unintended consequences of its implementation.
Is the role of a medical professional to ensure the health and comfort of their patients, or to help them end their lives? Since Dr. Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of Janet Adkins in 1990, physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has been one of the most controversial issues in the medical field today. While some view it as an individual right, others view it as an unethical issue that goes against medical ethics and religious values. Mr. H. M. is an elderly man who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and no chance of improvement. After excruciating pain and suffering, he has decided to request physician-assisted death in his home state of Oregon. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DDA) states that terminally ill patients are allowed to use lethal medications prescribed by the physician to terminate their lives.3 There is a renowned tradition in medicine that health-care professionals must do everything in their power to keep a patient alive, thus making PAS inconsistent with the responsibility of doctors as healers. Although physician-assisted suicide is proposed as a means toward a more gentle and humane way of dying, it threatens the foundation of the medical profession’s ethical integrity.
The right to assisted suicide is a significant topic that concerns people all over the United States. The debates go back and forth about whether a dying patient has the right to die with the assistance of a physician. Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons. Others are for it because of their compassion and respect for the dying. Physicians are also divided on the issue. They differ where they place the line that separates relief from dying--and killing. For many the main concern with assisted suicide lies with the competence of the terminally ill. Many terminally ill patients who are in the final stages of their lives have requested doctors to aid them in exercising active euthanasia. It is sad to realize that these people are in great agony and that to them the only hope of bringing that agony to a halt is through assisted suicide.When people see the word euthanasia, they see the meaning of the word in two different lights. Euthanasia for some carries a negative connotation; it is the same as murder. For others, however, euthanasia is the act of putting someone to death painlessly, or allowing a person suffering from an incurable and painful disease or condition to die by withholding extreme medical measures. But after studying both sides of the issue, a compassionate individual must conclude that competent terminal patients should be given the right to assisted suicide in order to end their suffering, reduce the damaging financial effects of hospital care on their families, and preserve the individual right of people to determine their own fate.
The discussion of physician-assisted suicide is frequently focused around the ethical implications. The confusion commonly surfaces from the simple question, what is physician-assisted suicide? Physician-assisted suicide can be defined as a circumstance in which a medical physician provides a lethal dose of medication to a patient with a fatal illness. In this case, the patient has given consent, as well as direction, to the physician to ethically aid in their death (Introduction to Physician-Assisted Suicide: At Issue,
There are many legal and ethical issues when discussing the topic of physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The legal issues are those regarding numerous court cases over the past few decades, the debate over how the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution comes into play, and the legalization vs. illegalization of this practice. The 14th Amendment states, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, §1). PAS in the past has been upheld as illegal due to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment of the constitution, but in recent years this same 14th amendment is also part of the reasoning for legalizing PAS, “nor shall any State deprive any person of…liberty” (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, §1). The ethical issues surrounding this topic include a patient’s autonomy and dignity and if PAS should be legalized everywhere. This paper is an analysis of the PAS debate and explores these different issues using a specific case that went to the supreme courts called Washington et al. v. Glucksberg et al.