A policeman witnesses a man trapped underneath a burning truck. Desperate and in pain, the man asks the policeman to shoot him and save him the pain of dying a slow and insufferable death. As a result, he shoots. The policeman’s dilemma is commonly referenced in support of physician-assisted-suicide, or PAS. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are interchangeable terms which both lead to the death of an individual. Voluntary PAS is a medical professional, usually a physician, who provides medication or other procedures with the intention of ending the patient’s life. Voluntary PAS is the administration of medicine with the explicit consent from the patient. In terms of this paper, we focus on voluntary physician-assisted suicide in the elderly, 65 and older. Assisted suicide raises the complex issues of moral, religious, cultural and legal issues. Laws against assisted suicide are present in 37 states the majority clearly define assisting suicide is a crime. The law is ambiguous in nine states and in two states civil penalties are the punishment for assisted suicide (Rubin). The only two states that have legalized PAS are Oregon and Washington.
The central concern of this article is the ethical issue of patient’s autonomy when it comes to physician-assisted suicide. The author, Daniel E. Lee, opposes the idea of physician-assisted suicide agreeing that “it is for God and God alone to make an end of human life and that God gives life to us as an inalienable loan”. However, Daniel recognizes that there are compelling arguments in favor for the issue. He believes the best way to alleviate the situation is to respond “in a loving, caring manner,” in hopes that “suffering individuals” will rarely, if ever, choose physician-assisted suicide.
Helping patients die contradicts the doctor’s healing role. The desire for suicide would result in failure of several doctors to adequately relieve pain and emotional suffering as death approaches. The technology of today has brought and is still bringing new cures everyday. PAS would lead to more “Doctor Deaths: in this world, which certainly is not necessary.
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.
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
Physician-assisted suicide refers to the physician acting indirectly in the death of the patient -- providing the means for death. The ethics of PAS is a continually debated topic. The range of arguments in support and opposition of PAS are vast. Justice, compassion, the moral irrelevance of the difference between killing and letting die, individual liberty are many arguments for PAS. The distinction between killing and letting die, sanctity of life, "do no harm" principle of medicine, and the potential for abuse are some of the arguments in favor of making PAS illegal. However, self-determination, and ultimately respect for autonomy are relied on heavily as principle arguments in the PAS issue.
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?
Imagine, if you will, that you have just found out you have a terminal medical condition. Doesn’t matter which one, it’s terminal. Over the 6 months you have to live you experience unmeasurable amounts of pain, and when your free of your pain the medication you’re under renders you in an impaired sense of consciousness. Towards the 4th month, you begin to believe all this suffering is pointless, you are to die anyways, why not with a little dignity. You begin to consider Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS). In this essay I will explain the ethical decisions and dilemmas one may face when deciding to accept the idea of Physician-Assisted Suicide. I will also provide factual information pertaining to the subject of PAS and testimony from some that advocate for legalization of PAS. PAS is not to be taken lightly. It is the decision to end one’s life with the aid of a medical physician. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary states that PAS is “Suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent.” PAS is considered, by our textbook – Doing Ethics by Lewis Vaughn, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. There are other forms of euthanasia such as non-voluntary, involuntary, and passive. This essay is focusing on PAS, an active voluntary form of euthanasia. PAS is commonly known as “Dying/Death with Dignity.” The most recent publicized case of PAS is the case of Brittany Maynard. She was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in California, where she lived. At the time California didn’t have Legislative right to allow Brittany the right to commit PAS so she was transported to Oregon where PAS is legal....
Physician assisted suicide (PAS) involves the process of prescribing drugs that are in between the range of more active than switching off a ventilator and less active than drug injection (Kassier 51). In 1994, Oregon became the first state that legalize PAS (Kassier 50). Since then, the public has slowly supported PAS. Survey has found out that about two third of the American population and more than half of the doctors agreed on the PAS policy (Kassier 51). However, there are also many organizations that oppose PAS. This is due to the ethical dilemma and potential problems that PAS could bring to the society. Firstly, PAS might be more vulnerable to the elder, poor, mentally ill, and disabled then people of other classes (Kassier 52). These
The main term ‘euthanasia’ is defined as the practice of ending a life prematurely in order to end pain and suffering. Voluntary euthanasia is carried out with the permission of the person whose life is taken; it’s typically performed when a person is suffering from a terminal illness or if health is declining rapidly and is in great pain.