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.
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There are many convincing and compelling arguments for and against Physician Assisted Suicide. There are numerous different aspects of this issue including religious, legal and ethical issues. However, for the purpose of this paper, I will examine the ethical concerns on both sides. There are strong pro and con arguments regarding this and I will make a case for both. It is definitely an issue that has been debated for years and will continue to be debated in years to come.
As any individual can imagine, there is a lot of suffering and pain in most, if not all hospital settings. At times, no amount of medication or experimental treatment can change an individual’s mind on the quality of their life, such that the only way to end their suffering is to die, hence physician assisted suicide. Defined as a patient taking their own life with the help of a physician, this assisted suicide practice is highly controversial and illegal in most but California, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont. Putting the law aside, the morality of the practice itself is still questioned.
The ongoing controversy about Physician assisted suicides is an ongoing battle among physicians, patients and court systems. The question of whether or not individuals have the “right” to choose death over suffering in their final days or hours of life continues to be contested. On one side you have the physicians and the Hippocratic Oath they took to save lives; on the other you have the patients’ right to make life choices, even if that means to choose death to end suffering. The ultimate question “is it ethical for a physician to agree to assisted suicides and is it ethical for a patient to request assisted suicide?
In March of 1998, a woman suffering with cancer became the first person known to die under the law on physician-assisted suicide in the state of Oregon when she took a lethal dose of drugs. This law does not include people who have been on a life support system nor does it include those who have not voluntarily asked physicians to help them commit suicide. Many people worry that legalizing doctor assisted suicide is irrational and violates the life-saving tradition of medicine and it has been argued that the reason why some terminally ill patients yearn to commit suicide is nothing more than depression. Physician Assisted Suicide would lessen the human life or end the suffering and pain of those on the verge of dying; Physician Assisted Suicide needs to be figured out for those in dire need of it or for those fighting against it. The main purpose for this paper is to bring light on the advantages and disadvantages of physician-assisted suicide and to show what principled and moral reasoning there is behind each point.
Although physician assisted suicide may result in the fulfillment of another’s choice, be considered a compassionate mean to end suffering, or even be considered a right, I believe it is not morally acceptable. In the act of physician assisted suicide, a patient voluntarily requests his or her doctor to assist in providing the means needed for self killing. In most cases of physician assisted suicide, patients who request this type of assistance are terminally ill and mentally competent (i.e. have sufficient understanding of an individual’s own situation and purpose and consequences of any action). Those who have committed the action of physician assisted suicide or condone the act may believe that one has the right to end their own life, the right of autonomy (the right or condition of self governing), the right to a dignified death, believe that others have a duty to minimize suffering, or believe it (physician assisted suicide) to be a compassionate act, or a combination of these things. However, since this act violates the intrinsic value of human life, it is not morally acceptable.
The biggest problem above all in the debate over the ethics of physician assisted suicide is the sanctity of life. Whether the procedure is forced or chosen, the ultimate result is a death in an unnatural way. Not only is a life being taken, but the dignity of a person is as well. The term “death with dignity” is self-contradictory. Choosing to give up and take the easy way out is not an honorable effort. Also, for a physician to involve themselves in the death of another person, he or she is contributing to the devaluing of human life (Braddock
Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that is going to kill you, but then you learn that you cannot do anything to avoid the pain it will cause you. The palliative care you will receive will only be able to provide slight comfort. You look at the options and consult with your physician, and decide physician-assisted suicide, or PAS, is what you want. Within the last two decades, the argument regarding physician-assisted suicide has grown. While some believe that death should be "natural", physician-assisted suicide helps the terminally ill maintain their dignity while dying. Physician assisted suicide should be a viable option for those diagnosed with a terminal illness. It provides a permanent relief to the pain and suffering that is involved
The issue of physician assisted suicide has been around for quite a while. There has been many court cases on it to make it legalized but all of it has been struck down by the Supreme Court. What seem to be a lost cause in the past is now becoming a real possibility as America moves further into the twenty-first century. As citizens increase their support for PAS, many states are beginning to draft bills to legalize this cause, with tough restriction and regulation of course. In 1997, Oregon became the first state to legalized physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Soon after, three other states (Washington, Vermont, and Montana) follow Oregon’s footstep while two other states are inching closer to making this procedure legal. Even so, there are still many people against PAS and are constantly fighting this from becoming legal. With the rise of popularity on this issue, the debate on whether one has the right to end their life, and the morality of this issue are reason why the UTA community should care about this topic and why it is worth exploring the three position concerning PAS. In this paper, I will discuss the three main position on this debate: that physician assisted suicide should be illegal, that physician assisted suicide should be limited to terminally ill patient, and that physician assisted suicide should be available for everyone.
In conclusion, all should firmly believe that physician assisted suicide should not be legalized in any state. Although it is legalized in Oregon it is not wise for any other state to follow that example. By now, all should strongly believe the growing public support for PAS still remains a very dangerous trend. The role of our physician is that of a healer, not a killer. It must be understood that in some cases the only way to relieve someone from their pain is to let them go. On the contrary, each human life has an
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 approach of physician-assisted suicide respects an individual’s need for personal dignity. It does not force the terminally ill patient to linger hopelessly, and helplessly, often at great cost to their psyche. It drive’s people mad knowing they are going to die in a short period of time, suffering while they wait in a hospital bed.
The concept of physician-assisted suicide has been a topic of debate since the birth of medicine. Controversy even surrounds its name as the term “suicide” is associated with a form of mental illness and irrational behavior, both of which are to be prevented it if at all possible according to medical obligation (Quill and Greenlaw). Physician assisted death/suicide occurs when a physician provides a medical means of death and instruction to a patient but does not administer the actual cause of death (Lonnquist and Weiss 389-91). This is quite different than the concept of active euthanasia in which a physician directly administers the cause of death. Recognized as far back as the 5th century BCE in the ancient Hippocratic Oath, the origin of this practice cou...
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,
In 2007, the American Geriatrics Society defined Physician-Assisted Suicide as, “When a physician provides either equipment or medication, or informs the patient of the most efficacious use of already available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient to end his or her own life” (qtd. in Lachman 121). Physician-Assisted Suicide is what it says, suicide. In the United States the controversy of the “Right to die” is not new. According to Vicki D. Lachman a Clinical Associate Professor, after the Supreme Court decision in 1997, it was determined that there is not a constitutional right to die. The Supreme Court is allowing states to pass laws to legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide. Since then three states, Oregon, Washington, and Montana have made it legal to perform Phy...