Physician Assisted Suicide Case Study

1802 Words4 Pages
In today’s society, physicians are held to high moral and ethical standards in helping patients achieve obtainable and mutually agreed upon goals for their health. However, for the patients constantly suffering from unrelieved pain as a result of a terminal illness, the goals in place and the maximum quality of life they can achieve, may not seem worth the effort to remain alive. As it is the physician’s duty to insure patients are as comfortable as possible, an ethical issue arises when the patient seeks to have the physician assist directly or indirectly in the hastening of their death to achieve a painless and nonsuffering state. Currently, there are two dominant methods in which this can be achieved and that is by euthanasia or physician-assisted…show more content…
These “encourage individuals to inform their physicians about the persons they most trust to decide on their behalf and how they would wish to be treated at a future time when they might be unable to participate in decisions about their own care” (Jonsen, Siegler, and Winslade 86). In the case of Terri, there was no certainty of what her wishes would have been. If she would have had advanced directive documentation that existed, she would have been able to appoint Michael are her durable power of attorney or “designated decision maker” (Jonsen, Siegler, and Winslade 88). Another option would have been her having a living will that list who she wanted appointed as her power of attorney, but also address other circumstances that may include treatment when incapacitate or the need of life support and a feeding tube. Since Michael was seen as a surrogate and Terri did not express her preference to anyone else, his actions seemed contrary to her benefit in the view of her…show more content…
However, some individuals do not view it as such, because it is not the direct taking of a life by the physician. It would be considered a secondary cause, because she will die of dehydration or starvation rather than a lethal substance being injected into her veins. There is the appearance that certain acts of euthanasia would be deemed acceptable from a moral and ethical point of view. The ethical issue that arises from this is whether this form constitutes as a humane because ultimately it would still apply as nonvoluntary euthanasia. Yet, the end result is always the same and that is the death of the

More about Physician Assisted Suicide Case Study

Open Document