Physician-assisted suicide is defined as the patient’s willingness to end his or her life with the help of a clinician. The clinician may be involved by simply giving detailed information on the best way to commit the suicide or by prescribing pills that are ultimately lethal doses. He or she may also be physically of help when the patient commits the act by assisting the patient in setting up medical procedures that cause euthanasia. This form of death became widely popular when the media caught wind of Dr. Kevorkian’s different methods of participation. He helped more than “130 terminally ill patients commit suicide between the years of 1990 and 1998” (McLellan, 2011). When what he was doing caught the attention of the nation, ethical issues regarding the matter became a hot topic. Advocates believed that terminally ill patients have the right to die if they wish, but opponents thought that it should be illegal and outlawed throughout the nation. The ability of nurses and doctors to work with the state’s government would give a better understanding of what physician-assisted suicide covers in order to protect it from being abused while in practice.
Integrity and Autonomy
Patients that are exploring the idea of physician-assisted suicide are terminally ill and have little chance of survival. They go to their physician in order to get their various questions and concerns answered. In order to have a clear accurate conversation, both sides need to be upfront with their thoughts and feelings regarding suicide. Doctors need to be willing to lay out the contrasts between the continual of suffering or the termination of life. If suffering outweighs the odds...
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...tients in the most whole, honest, and upright matter (Medical Protection Society, 2016). A physician’s integrity may be challenged when dealing with assisted suicides for various reasons. Supporters argue that a physician is showing good signs of integrity when they have fulfilled every method of treatment in order to help the pain stricken patient. If their patient is requesting the assisted-death after receiving various other treatments, then it is the physician’s job to grant their wishes. But in contrast, opponents argue, a physician is showing no signs integrity when they kill of their patients. The view on a physician’s integrity is entirely based on the viewer’s personal preferences, therefore, causing ethical concerns. No one group of people views aspects the same way, therefore it is hard to entirely prove if a physician is practicing integrity.
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