consent to death

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In most modern mainstream religions, life is viewed as intrinsically good and worth preserving. We as doctors, come from many different faiths and religion, but we all follow one creed, one oath, the Hippocratic oath. Granted, over the years there have been many variants, but all contain the same underlying principle, that life is foundationally good. This is due to the fact that all things come from life, even death. At the same time, we as doctors must never forget that many of our patients are autonomous, and ultimately free. Physicians must rely on the patient, just as the patient often relies on the physician. The patient is the only one who knows what it is that they themselves what. In the United States, we take our freedom incredibly seriously, and we guard it as we would our most valuable possessions. We as doctors must walk a fine gray line between patient rights and our role as doctors. Nowhere is this more apparent then when dealing with patient assisted suicide, and more commonly, end of life care. Below is this committee's draft policy, which we feel our hospital should adopt.
In order to accurately meet our patient's needs, our hospital has adopted a few assumptions. While our hospital's views may conflict with our patients' views and values, we believe every human being has the right to life. However, a patient knows himself or herself best, and through this we respect our competent patients' wishes when concerning their end of life care. Our hospital will respect the decisions of competent patients to refuse treatment without which they will surely die. However, due to the finality of such a decision, we will require that a given patient undergo two psychological evaluations in order to confirm competence beyond any reasonable doubt. Furthermore, our policy aims to assure that decisions of this magnitude are not made in haste. To accomplish this goal, the hospital will require a minimum 48-hour waiting period for treatment to be withdrawn following competence verification. Thus, patients will have ample time to review and reflect over their decision in much the same manner that mandatory waiting period legislation for obtaining handguns seeks to limit ill-advised choices made in the heat of the moment.
The above policy will also apply to terminally ill patients who are deemed competent. Although in this case the patient will eventually die...

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...ot only physical but also mental aspects, and this is something that has only come into consideration lately. It is for this reason that we need to have policies to accurately help patients who have come to the realization that they no longer wish for us as doctors to actively try to prolong their lives.
The above is our hospital's policy concerning end life care, which we hope to adopt. First and foremost, we believe that life is foundationally good, and unless we are given specific instructions through the aforementioned procedures, we will always try to sustain life. At our hospital we will also respect the moral beliefs of our doctors. At no time will a doctor be made to perform the PAS procedure, or end the life of another. If the doctor does not feel comfortable patients requests, they will be given the opportunity to make a lateral transfer, and give the case to a doctor with no moral qualms. In conclusion, it is only the prerogative of an individual to decide what is the best life for him or herself. We will always try to respect our patients beliefs, and carry out their respective wishes, as long as they fall in accordance to our guidelines.
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