The Ethics Of Medical Practice

1069 Words5 Pages
Although modern medicine has become increasingly innovative, the ethics of medical practice are a commonly debated topic in the world of medicine. A particularly difficult situation to ethically work through would be the argument on physician assisted suicide, also known as active euthanasia. Assisted suicide involves a patient who consults a physician to obtain a drug prescription or knowledge of a lethal dosage when the physician is aware of the intent of the patient to kill oneself. In modern times, the Hippocratic Oath is able to provide a valuable view that does not condone physician assisted suicide from an ethical standpoint. From ancient to modern periods, suicide has been an ongoing dilemma with varying professional opinions on how to ethically handle it.
Currently, it is being debated on whether physician assisted suicide should be legal in the United States. The U.S Supreme Court ruled that states are permitted to prohibit assisted suicide. This is justified due to the fact that there is no constitutional right guaranteeing people access to assisted suicide. However, the U.S Supreme Court has left it open for states to legalize assisted suicide, under specific circumstances. Therefore, Oregon, California, Washington, Vermont, and Montana are the only five states in the United States that currently allow physician assisted suicide legally (Green). New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland are currently going through legislation in order to determine the legalities of physician assisted suicide.
Active euthanasia has a large population of people against the act, while others are strong advocates for condoning it. Lois Snyder, Director of Center for Ethics at American College of Physicians, discusses reasoning aga...

... middle of paper ...

... drugs to help a terminally-ill patient end their life. Overall, suicide is displayed in the Oath as unethical, considering the Hippocratic author aims at preserving life and not harming the body. Therefore, if this document is used to influence modern medicine, it should be forbidden to allow physicians to assist patients in committing suicide using drugs or poisons.
In conclusion, modern day ethics are beginning to stray away from traditional thoughts against suicide. It has now become a case of greed and selfishness when a person decides to take control of their own death with the help of a physician. The Oath clearly lays out parameters for physicians to follow, most of which are against physician assisted suicide. Though from antiquity, the Hippocratic Oath provides various instances which disapprove the idea of physician assisted suicide in modern times.
Open Document