Physician Assisted Suicide As Death With Dignity Act Essay

Physician Assisted Suicide As Death With Dignity Act Essay

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End of life care is becoming more important due to increased aging population of the “baby boomer” generation and lack of treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other terminal illnesses. Advancements in medical technology have allowed patients diagnosed with a terminal illness to prolong their lives through various means of medical devices and treatment plans. However, there are some patients that express their wish to end their lives early for various reasons. Physician-assisted suicide termed as Death with Dignity Act, is an option that allows individuals to accelerate the process of death through ingestion of prescription medication. Physician-assisted suicide is highly controversial, with 4 of 50 states having legalized it. This issue requires the consideration of multiple standpoints, from health care professionals to the patients. The extent to which physical-assisted suicide is an ethical option for end-of-life care can be viewed from health, moral, and social approaches.
Health Approach:
Health is the state of being physically, mentally, and emotionally free from pain and suffering. This approach deals with the issue of physician-assisted suicide by discussing how healthcare professionals should treat patients with terminal illnesses, specifically those who express their desire to not prolong their lives. The role of the healthcare professional is to insure the patient is receiving treatment that either reduces or eliminates the pain and suffering. “The Role of and Challenges for Psychologists in Physician Assisted Suicide,” written by a team of researchers at Sam Houston State University, talks about how some patients may see life prolonged by “dialysis, ventilators, and feeding tubes as undesira...

... middle of paper ... opinions of physician assisted suicide. From a conducted study, it was found that “50% of family members indicated that they would support the patient’s request for physician assisted death” (Westefeld et al.). The article also explores the different ethnic groups. African Americans were less likely to accept physician assisted suicide because of “religiosity, particularly belief in the will of a god” (Westefeld et al.). This is an example of the viewpoint from racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds.

The health approach focuses on the physical, mental, and emotional condition of an individual. The moral approach focuses on the ethics of physician assisted suicide. The social approach focuses on the viewpoints of societal groups and how the viewpoints are formed. The viewpoints are formed from the cultural, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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