My Ethical Views on Physician Assisted Suicide

analytical Essay
1596 words
1596 words

My Ethical Views on Physician Assisted Suicide Physician assisted suicide is immoral in the case of people who are alive and desire to terminate their life. However, there are extreme cases when hastening the dying process is justified in the circumstances of individuals who are in intense physical impairment. Physician-assisted suicide is defined as the practice where a physician provides a patient with a lethal dose of medication, upon the patient's request, which the patient desires to use to end his or her life. The Harvard Medical School conferred that we are "dead" when there is permanent loss of consciousness in the higher brain, even though one may not be flat lined. The idea for physician assisted suicide is for a medical doctor help someone die who is still alive but desires to terminate their own life due to an impairment or illness which causes suffering upon the individual. The question we must consider is where do we cross the line between suicide and murder. Although suicide or attempted suicide is legal in every state, assisting in a suicide is considered illegal in every state except Oregon. Additionally, the Code of Medical Ethics section 2.211 declares that physician assisted suicide is "fundamentally incompatible with the physician's role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks." There are too many risks associated with physician assisted suicide that managing such a factor would be impossible to control. Even the best medical professionals are human beings with the potential for error. An undiagnosed or untreated mental illness can add to a patients desire to die, which in the case of ph... ... middle of paper ... ...ife. It projects our own doubts of life and the reason to live is diminished. Everyone will die; it is part of our aspect of being mortal. Through medication, we are able to ease the suffering yet respect the "sanctity of life" by giving a person the greatest opportunity to feel and experience. We must be careful to realize that having a right to choose does not necessarily mean the right to cause harm upon oneself or terminate the life of someone else out of compassion. Bibliography: Crane, Diana. The Sanctity of Social Life: Physician's Treatment of Critically Ill Patients. Transaction, 1977. Jonsen, Albert R. A Short History of Medical Ethics. Oxford, 2000. Martin, Mike. Everyday Mortality. 3rd Edition. Wadsworth, 2001. Mill, John Stuart. "Utilitarianism". Moral Philosophy. Edited by Louis P. Pojman. Hackett, 1998.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that although suicide is legal in every state, assisting in a suicide in oregon is considered illegal. even the best medical professionals are human beings with potential for error.
  • Argues that physician assisted suicide devalues the lives of those who are disabled. the conflicting problem is that the lines are too fuzzy as we can draw the limitations.
  • Argues that anesthesia is used to dull the pain during a surgery, but it does not deliver death as the final result. respect for human life can also be inferred to mean "sancticity of life."
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