Physician Assisted Suicide

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The idea of expediting the death of another is acknowledged, but not widely accepted throughout western civilization. However, in recent times, advancements in science and technology are helping to rewrite certain ethics concerning the life of another. Certain places, a few states within the United States, have deemed passive euthanasia ethical but leave physician assisted suicide and active euthanasia hanging in the balance because of disputes of whether or not doctors are violating their most important ethical code of conduct, that is to "Do no harm." The patient is the person most affected by the decision to end their life. The ultimate decision comes to the patient, however the patient's cognitive capabilities may be compromised, in the event of a terminally ill patient or if the patient is in a persistent vegetative state (BMJ Group). Passive euthanasia is when a medical professional opts to not do something that is necessary for a patient to be kept alive, or when the medical professional stop doing something that is keeping a patient alive. The later is an example of a doctor removing a clinically brain dead patient from life support, e.g. Feeding tube, ventilator etc. The medical professional has the right to do this with the consent of the patient's next of kin. However the patient may decide on this through a living will, or if they signed a DNR form, a form in which a patient opts to refuse CPR in the event of fibrillation, or if the patient does not want to live on artificial life support. The DNR, Do Not Resuscitate, form is about the closest thing most of the delegates of the AMA, American Medical Association, come to agree on because it is upheld in forty-nine states, except Missouri, in the United States of ... ... middle of paper ... would ultimately lead to them being criminally tried in court and ultimately- revocation of their medical license. In a democracy one might expect autonomy to be prevalent however that is not always the case. Autonomy is the right of self-directing freedom and especially moral independence; this means that people have the right to make decisions for themselves. An example would be a patient refusing medical attention despite medical advice. With that should people have the right to choose the day of their death, if they are eligible? Eligibility may include terminal illness or an insufficient standard of living due to an accident or certain disease such as ALS. Some may argue that physician assisted suicide violates the Hippocratic oath, as they say a physician is to "do no harm," but is refusing a patient's autonomic and constitutional right die doing harm.
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