The Ethical Issue Of Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

The Ethical Issue Of Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

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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.
To begin, one of the most common point of view for opposing assisted suicide is the explicitly mentioned ethical issue of paternalism—the idea that we should intervene to prevent others from making self-destructive behaviors. To contravene this argument, the author implicitly mentioned patient’s autonomy by referencing to John Stuart Mills’ cautionary words, “a person should be free to do as he likes in his own concerns.” In other words, despite the fact that we would love to shield others from settling on the wrong choice, it is ultimately their choice to make when they are more than competent to do so.
Another argument the author proposed was comments made by Joel Feinberg, “Nevertheless, there are some actions that create a powerful presumption that an actor in his right mind would not choose them.” This challenges the mental capacity of individuals who chooses assistant suicide. To combat this notion, Daniel elaborated on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act that specifies requirements for those who wishes to utilize physician-assisted suicide. The requirements detailed having two oral requests separated by at least fifteen days, a writte...


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...ng to mention would be the U.S. Supreme Court on July 1997 that ruled there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide. Or the first federal appellate court decision on physician-assisted suicide, (the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) where they decided that “individuals have a right to choose how and when they die” (Snyder, 2001). These court rulings further supported the authors’ article, providing a national collaboration on the matter.
In conclusion, despite the fact that there are fundamental proof for physician assisted suicide, there are just as enough proof in opposition of the situation the author could have discussed. All in all, the author gave substantial evidence to why he concluded that we should support those who are suffering. Yet I believe he minimize the arguments against physician assisted suicide, and elaborating extensively on the pros.

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