Physician Assisted Suicide Case Study

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Identify the Problem Dr. Jack Kevorkian (also called “Dr. Death”) achieved notoriety and a prison sentence by assisting terminally ill people in committing suicide. He provided them with a specially designed machine that allowed them to push a button and release a fetal dose of anesthesia into their bloodstream. (Ruggiero, 2015, p. 181-182) A man that went to medical school for becoming a doctor, took his Hippocratic oath, lead a campaign of assisting terminally ill patients to their death by physician assisted suicide. The question that is to be raised is this: As a doctor are you trying to end their suffering and give them a rightful death, is it that you are just killing people in very vulnerable states in the name that it is moral to …show more content…

Physician-assisted suicide is the practice of providing a competent patient with a prescription for medication for the patient to use with the primary intention of ending his or her own life. (Definition of Physician Assisted Suicide). Euthanasia: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals. (Euthanasia) Palliative Care: medical and related care provided to a patient with a serious, life-threatening, or terminal illness that is not intended to provide curative treatment but rather to manage symptoms, relieve pain and discomfort, improve quality of life, and meet the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient. (Palliative Care Medical Definition)
Identify Possible Solutions to the Problem One of the possible solutions to physician assisted suicide is to change the law regarding it. The only way to prevent such suffering appears to me to be to change the law, so as to allow such patients to lawfully receive assistance to die. Assisted suicide would, in these circumstances, be a compassionate and ethical response to a desperate need. A good rather than a harm, and complementary rather than in opposition to palliative care. (Joffe, J. …show more content…

When a patient receives a terminal or life-altering diagnosis, the subsequent life changes are not limited to the medical challenges. Patients encounter the physical trauma of the medical diagnosis while also experiencing psychological difficulties, social changes, and even existential concerns. In Oregon Health Authority research, 91 percent of those who were assisted with suicide cited loss of autonomy as their motivation to end their lives, and 71 percent cited loss of dignity as their motivation. Only 31 percent cited inadequate pain control. These needs require different forms of care. Palliative care seeks to take into consideration every facet of the patient’s situation—with professionals who can attend to all aspects of the patient’s needs. (Anderson, R. 2015).
The one thing that all doctors need to come to is compassion. Compassion for the patient and the family. That is a good starting point in this end journey, build from there. Compassion in helping the patient/ family deal with the pain. We need to develop laws that protect people being compassionate.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how dr. jack kevorkian achieved notoriety and a prison sentence by assisting terminally ill people in committing suicide.
  • Opines that all doctors need to come to compassion for the patient and the family, and develop laws that protect people being compassionate.
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