Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Suicide is one person’s personal decision; physician-assisted suicide is a patient who is not capable of carrying the task out themselves asking a physician for access to lethal medication. What people may fail to see however is that the physician is not the only healthcare personnel involved; it may include, but is not limited to, a physician, nurse, and pharmacist. This may conflict with the healthcare worker’s own morals and there are cases in which the patient suffers from depression, or the patient is not receiving proper palliative care. Allowing physician-assisted suicide causes the physician to become entangled in an ethical and moral discrepancy and has too many other issues surrounding it for it to be legal.

Physician-assisted suicide, often referred to as assisted death, is a scenario in which a physician provides medication or advice that allows a terminally ill patient to take their life. (Breitbart) This term is often confused with euthanasia, a situation in which a physician administers lethal doses of medication to a patient to end his or her life. (Breitbart) This is often done by a physician who wants to be merciful and who believes they are ending the patient’s suffering. (Breitbart) A patient who requests a physician to assist them in their suicide is asking the physician to go against their morals and the Hippocratic Oath.

The Hippocratic Oath was developed by Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, a Greek philosopher. (Gamutan) Western medicine has traditionally used this oath as their ethical code and it was modified in the twentieth century; this modified version is referred to as the Oath of Lasagna. (Gamutan) The Hippocratic Oath mentions many things, but it specifically states, “I will neither give a...

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...nt may take their life. This constitutes murder, another sin. For God stated in the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)

Physician-assisted suicide is a debate that has been in discussion for many centuries. It should not be legalized for many reasons including both issues that may conflict with the physician’s judgement and issues that may encourage a patient to request assisted suicide. Suicide is a personal decision, and involving members of healthcare makes it too legally and ethically complicated for it to be allowed. Many Americans identify themselves as Christians and Christianity opposes suicide and murder, which is basically what physician-assisted suicide is. Legalizing physician-assisted suicide will cause legal and ethical controversy and uproar, and causes the physician to become entangled in an ethical and moral discrepancy.

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