Physician assisted suicide is murder. Using euthanasia, increased dosage of morphine or injecting patient’s with a lethal combination of drugs to slow his/her breathing until he/she dies is also murder. Physician assisted suicide is morally wrong. The classical theory for physician assisted suicide is utilitarianism because according to Mosser 2010, “utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines the moral value of an act in terms of its results and if those results produce the greatest good for the greatest number.” Utilitarianism will solve the physician assisted suicide problem if all of the physicians will stand by the oath they say. According to the Hippocratic Oath doctor says, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”
Dr. Braddock and Dr. Tonelli use Aristotelian rhetoric in their article titled, “Physician Aid-in-Dying: Ethical Topic in Medicine.” The authors provide examples of logos by providing statistics about physician assisted suicide. In the article you will find pathos that will offer different emotions within the topic. These authors have many ethos or many years of credentials within the medical field.
Pain is universal. In life, everyone will feel pain; it is inevitable and cruel. Physical or emotional, insignificant or severe, it is there. The pain continues mounting into an unbearable amount of suffering. Suffering that blots out everything of worth, such as family, love, aspirations, and optimism. Hopelessness seizes any will to endure. With no way to subside or control the pain, often one will go to extremes in order to be free of it. Many take their life, in order to escape the horror. Committing suicide is a traumatizing experience for any and all involved. Life is precious. The chance to live is only given once, and cannot be taken for granted. Preventing even a single life from ending early is imperative and obligatory to everyone. Suicide can never be an option. Why then is it acceptable as an alternative treatment for dire medical conditions? Physician-Assisted Suicides have a negative impact on those involved and is unethical.
Christina Robbins awakens screaming as she clinches the railing of her hospital bed while excruciating pain radiates through her weakened body. Christina’s husband and two teenage daughters sit on the couch in the corner of her dimmed hospital room. In just three months, Christina went from a completely healthy lawyer to lying in her deathbed needing 24 hour care. The cancer has now spread from her lungs throughout her body and within days would reach her brain. The doctors have tried to keep Christina’s pain under control, but with all the medicine the slightest touch feels like razor blades scraping her skin. Being a terminal patient is rather difficult to come to terms with, leaving unpaid bills behind, losing bodily control, and having family watch them die a slow painful death. Incidentally Christiana does not live in one of the four states that offer Physician Assisted Suicide. Physician Assisted Suicide should be legalized in all states because it is a freedom of choice, ceases one’s pain and suffering and decreases traditional suicide rates.
The advancement of technology in the medical field has prolonged the lives of individuals, but certain terminal illnesses lead to inevitable death. Health care team members working in end-of-life care are being faced with the ethical dilemmas introduced by the physician-assisted suicide legalization, also known as the Death with Dignity Act, in the United States (Lachman, 2010). Physician-assisted suicide, or euthanasia in some texts, allows mentally competent, terminally ill individuals, with less than 6 months to live, a choice to self-administer physician prescribed medication, which assists in death (Friend, 2011; Harris, 2014; Lachman, 2010). Although the patient administers the fatal dose to his or her self, the ethical dilemma arises of whether physician-assisted suicide is the individual’s right, or a violation of human life (Harris, 2014). Terminally ill individuals should have the option to end their suffering during end-of-life care through physician-assisted suicide.
Should physicians be able to assist patients who are terminally ill end their lives? Physician assisted suicide is a very controversial subject. In today’s society, people who commit suicide are known as “insane,” a person who takes prescription pills is known as a “drug addict” or “criminal.” However, when a doctor honors a patient’s request for a lethal dose of medicine, (which the patient will inject themselves) to end their life in peace is considered to be a murderer. However, when a physician unplugs a terminally ill patient who is on life support at the patient’s request is just doing their job. However, a person whose quality of life is nonexistent and are faced with a terminal illness should have the right to decide to seek physicians assistance.
One of the most controversial end-of-life decisions is “physician-assisted suicide” (PAS). This method of suicide involves a physician providing a patient, at his or her own request, with a lethal dose of medication, which the patient self-administers. The ethical acceptability and the desirability of legalization of this practice both continue to cause controversy (Raus, Sterckx, Mortier 1). Vaco v. Quill and Washington v. Glucksberg were landmark decisions on the issue of physician-assisted suicide and a supposed Constitutional right to commit suicide with another's assistance. In Washingotn v. Glucksberg, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state of Washington's ban on physician-assisted suicide was not unconstitutional. Justices noted that while terminally ill patients on life support have legal right to refuse all treatment, terminally ill patients who are not on life support lack this right. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a ban on physician-assisted suicide was not unconstitutional, individual states were free to enact laws permitting physician-assisted suicide. Not long after this ruling, Oregon passed adopted the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) permitting physician-assisted suicide under certain conditions (State of Oregon 1995). More recently, Oregon's neighbor state Washington also enacted a law allowing physician-assisted suicide – the Washington Death with Dignity Act (State of Washington 2008) (Raus, Sterckx, Mortier 2).
To address these fears, many people attempt to control when and how they end their lives. Naturally, they turn to their physicians for assistance because the physicians know what amounts of drugs are lethal and how to administer such drugs to ensure death and prevent pain. However, in recent decades, when a patient feels that his or her life is no longer worth living for, they will commonly ask for their physicians’ assistance in suicide. Many people feel that it is the physician’s moral responsibility to end the suffering of the patient, while others feel that it is unethical to interfere with a natural process of death. Physicians exist to save the lives of patients. Assisted suicide puts them in the position of ending lives and naturally creates arguments of ethicality and legality.
In the past couple of years, the debate regarding physician-assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia has become a major ethical issue in medical practice as well as an issue that involves the law and public policy. By definition, physician-assisted suicide is when a physician provides the necessary means (equipment or medication), or informs the patient of the most efficacious use of already available means, for the purpose of assisting the patient in ending his or her life.1-2 Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, is the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, in a relatively painless method.3 It is important to note that with PAS, the physician does not directly administer the medication to end life, instead they provide the medication and the patient performs the act themselves while in euthanasia another individual administers the medication regardless of patient consent or awareness.
It’s hard to recognize the outcome and have an objective view about certain issue without knowing what is its’ actual definition. The definition of physician-assisted suicide is “when a person - typically someone suffering from an incurable illness or chronic intense pain - intentionally kills him/herself with the help of a doctor. A doctor may prescribe drugs on the understanding that the patient intends to use them to take a fatal overdose; or a doctor may insert an intravenous needle into the arm of a patient, who then pushes a switch to trigger a fatal injection”( ETHICAL DEBATE: On the horns of a dilemma.）.
In review, euthanasia is performed when the pain is too much for the patient. It is, overall, the patient’s life—their right and their choice. Everyone deserves to die compassionately, knowing that they will slip away painlessly. Everyone deserves to have a choice, especially when it comes to the manner of their death. If euthanasia is not legalized, many people will debilitating illnesses may take their lives in much more horrific ways. If they want the suffering to end badly enough, it is simply done one way or
Dr. Teagle will clean out the artery to the brain and thus eliminate a major stroke or senility. He says that the chances for success are 80-20. He adds that Orval will be better off no matter how the surgery turns out. “If your father dies in surgery, it will be quick and painless, but if the surgery is successful, he will once again have the use of his kidney and will return to normal.” The doctor promises not to use any machines to sustain Orval’s life artificially for more than 5 or 6 days after the surgery. Jerry’s conversation with Dr. Teagle ends with Jerry saying that both he and Gwen are all for the surgery and that they will talk with Virginia. Jerry calls Gwen and discusses the fact that Virginia does not want Orval to have the surgery. They decide to go up to the hospital and talk with Virginia.
Diane: A Case of Physician Assisted Suicide. Diane was a patient of Dr. Timothy Quill, who was diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia. Diane overcame alcoholism and had vaginal cancer in her youth. She had been under his care for a period of 8 years, during which an intimate doctor-patient bond had been established.
Several of the main reasons provided are, the state has the commitment to protect life, the medical profession, and vulnerable groups (Washington et al. v. Glucksberg et al., 1997). However, in 2008 the Supreme Courts reversed their previous decision and passed the Death with Dignity Act legalizing PAS for Washington State. This declares that terminally ill individuals in the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont now have the liberty to choose how they will end their lives with either hospice care, palliative care, comfort measures, or PAS. The question remains: will the rest of the United States follow their lead?