In physician assisted suicide, there can be many ethical questions raised. From the view of utilitarianism and deontology, morals and consequences come to mind when discussing this topic. These theories play a vital role when exploring this topic and going in depth about its ethical issues. The film maker, John Zaristky, creator of the documentary, The Suicide Tourist, never really stated his viewpoint, only the viewpoint of the people in the video.
In the medical field, there has always been the question raised, “What is ethical?” There is a growing conflict between two important principles: autonomy and death being considered a medical treatment. Physician assisted suicide is defined as help from a medical professional, or sometimes another person, in committing the act of ending one’s life. All patients have a right to choose among his or her appropriate medical treatments.
According to Psychology Dictionary, autonomy is defined as, “The state of independence and self- determination in an individual, a group, or a society (Psychology Dictionary, 2015).” Individual freedom is the basis for modern ethics. Autonomy is the basic principle that a person should be free to make his or her own decisions. A doctor must be sure that his or her patient is knowledgeable about his or her decision to accept or refuse medical treatment. If the patient fully understands autonomy, then much of the rest of clinical ethics ensue. Decision making capability is referring to the patient’s ability to make certain decisions about his or her own healthcare. Depending on the complexity of the choice given to the patient, the patient normally has the capability to understand the potential outcomes and the information provided.
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... some thought. The ultimate decision, which is actually going through with drinking the sedative, must be explained very thoroughly, so the patient can make the best decision possible.
The ethical theory the patient has to use also plays a vital role in physician assisted suicide. Mr.Ewert says it is his moral duty to die so he can stop being a burden on his family. This is a complex statement because it is the human right for all humans to be able to live a normal life. According to Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez of Santa Clara University, “All persons have a moral right to choose freely what they will do with their lives as long as they inflict no harm on others (Andre and Manuel, 1987).” Physician assisted suicide is right only when the person uses moral values and complete understanding of the risk he or she is taking when going through with the procedure.
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