Essay on Physician-Assisted Suicide is Morally and Ethically Acceptable

Essay on Physician-Assisted Suicide is Morally and Ethically Acceptable

Length: 1159 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

    The long time debate over medically assisted suicide, the presence of a doctor at a patient’s suicide, resurfaced again with the conviction of doctor Jack Kevorkian.  Kevorkian was convicted of second degree murder when he euthanized, or administered the injection himself, Thomas Youk on September 17, 1998.  Dr. Kevorkian, an advocate and practitioner of medically assisted suicides, has many opponents on the issue. Opponents say that it is unethical and even with the consent of the patient that the procedure is still a homicide and not suicide.  I plan to show that physician-assisted suicide is morally and ethically acceptable, that court cases and laws have proven it to be acceptable, and that it is better than other alternatives.  It is only logical that through consent by the patient, that physician-assisted suicide is justified.

            In the last decade there have been numerous cases regarding physician-assisted suicide.  Many have been overturned due to technicalities.  For instance, in the trial People vs. Kevorkian, Dr. Kevorkian was acquitted for prescribing the medication not knowing it would lead to death.  The court ruled that if Kevorkian had knowingly prescribed the drugs in order for the patients to commit suicide, then he would have been found guilty.

            Since the start of the debate there has been some initiatives voted on in states in order to deal with the issue.  Currently, only one state, Oregon, has passed a law allowing physician-assisted suicides.  The law, titled The Oregon Death with Dignity Act, allows physician-assisted suicides and not euthanasia.  This law has sparked a huge debate on whether other states will follow Oregon’s lead and pass similar laws.  It is also importan...

... middle of paper ...

... Adam.  "Showdown for Doctor Death."  Time 152 (1998):  46-7.

"Deathnet."  Online. Internet. 27 April 1999.  Available

Detroit Free Press.  "The Suicide Machine."  1997. Online. Internet. 27 April 1999. Available

Fields-Meyer, Thomas.  "Exit Strategy."  People-Weekly 50 (1998):  58-60.

Foer, Franklin.  "Death in Prime Time."  U.S. News & World Report 125 (1998):  55-6.

Grace, Julie.  "Curtains for Dr. Death."  Time 153 (1999):  48.

Hunt, Roger.  "A Bedside Perspective of Euthanasia."  The Voluntary Euthanasia Society.  November 1996.  Online. Internet. 28 April 1999. 


Morrow, Lance.  "Time for the Ice Floe, Pop."  Time 152 (1998):  48.

Weir, Robert.  Physician-Assisted Suicide.  Indiana University Press, 1997.


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Patient Assisted Suicide Essay

- Adherence One of the greatest dangers facing chronic and terminally ill patients is the grey area regarding PAS. In the Netherlands, there are strict criteria for the practice of PAS. Despite such stringencies, the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (1992) found 28% of the PAS cases in the Netherlands did not meet the criteria. The evidence suggests some of the patient’s lives may have ended prematurely or involuntarily. This problem can be addressed via advance directives. These directives would be written by competent individuals explaining their decision to be aided in dying when they are no longer capable of making medical decisions....   [tags: Physician Assisted Suicide]

Good Essays
1881 words (5.4 pages)

Assisted Suicide Essay

- Writing the fifth assignment for the English class was by far the hardest essay I have had to write. Constantly was I running into problems, and this ended up taking me much longer than I had originally planned. Writing about the opposing side of this topic was very hard, as I usually caught myself writing things that I couldn’t make work in my paper. The writing was very tough to keep on track because it isn’t actually how I feel. This essay helped me to better understand the argument that is presented from both sides....   [tags: Assisted Suicide Death Essays]

Good Essays
839 words (2.4 pages)

Euthanasia, Rodriguez, and Canadian Law on Assisted Suicide Essay example

- Euthanasia, or assisted suicide, stands as one of the most important debates in contemporary moral philosophy. By definition, euthanasia is the act of intentionally killing or permitting the death of a hopelessly sick or injured individual, in a relatively painless way, for reasons of mercy. The controversy surrounding this unresolved issue seems to be fuelled by popular, albeit problematic, belief that while the passivity of permitting an individual to die is morally acceptable, the act of killing is not....   [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide]

Good Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Arguments against Physician-assisted suicide Essay

- The United States is a nation founded on freedoms and liberties, giving each citizen the ability to make their own life decisions. This freedom includes all aspects of one’s life, including medical care. With freedom comes responsibility, and this is true in terms of physician-assisted suicide. The ongoing struggle between those in favor and those opposed to this subject has ravaged the medical field, bringing into question what is morally and ethically right. The fact of the matter is that physician-assisted suicide is neither morally nor ethically acceptable under any circumstance....   [tags: Healthcare, Ethics]

Good Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Assisted Suicide Essay

- Is the role of a medical professional to ensure the health and comfort of their patients, or to help them end their lives. Since Dr. Kevorkian assisted in the suicide of Janet Adkins in 1990, physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has been one of the most controversial issues in the medical field today. While some view it as an individual right, others view it as an unethical issue that goes against medical ethics and religious values. Mr. H. M. is an elderly man who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and no chance of improvement....   [tags: Medical Field, Health, Ethics]

Good Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on The Ethical Dilemma of Assisted Suicide for Nurses

- The Code of Ethics for Nurses was created to be a guide for nurses to perform their duties in a way that is abiding with the ethical responsibilities of the nursing profession and quality in nursing care. The Code of Ethics has excellent guidelines for how nurses should behave, however; these parameters are not specific. They do not identify what is right and wrong, leaving nurses having to ultimately make that decision. Ethics in nursing involves individual interpretation based on personal morals and values....   [tags: suffering, dignified, morals]

Good Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Physician Assisted Suicides

- Physician assisted suicides Introduction Physician assisted suicides is among the modern greatest challenges that come with the medical professions ethic responsibilities. Assisted suicides threaten the greater core of the profession of medicine and its integrity since it is not just a proposal towards the care of the dying but the means to their death. Even though the council on Ethical and judicial affairs of medicine has long standing policies going against the need for euthanasia. However, these policies do not address the issue of assisted suicide fully....   [tags: mercy killing, ethic responsability, Euthanasia]

Good Essays
2046 words (5.8 pages)

Essay Euthanasia: An Ethical Dilemma

- The ethical debate regarding euthanasia dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was the Hippocratic School (c. 400B.C.) that eliminated the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide from medical practice. Euthanasia in itself raises many ethical dilemmas – such as, is it ethical for a doctor to assist a terminally ill patient in ending his life. Under what circumstances, if any, is euthanasia considered ethically appropriate for a doctor. More so, euthanasia raises the argument of the different ideas that people have about the value of the human experience....   [tags: doctor assisted suicide]

Good Essays
1817 words (5.2 pages)

Euthanasia is Both Ethical and Moral Essay

- Imagine your whole body paralyzed, frozen in time forever. Imagine your breath, artificially created by ventilators. Imagine being told that in ten days, your heart will be beating through a machine. Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is a medical practice that can relieve an individual of their unwanted suffering and pain through either patient or physician induced suicide. The article, “Euthanasia: the perceptions of nurses in India” states that one of the main reasons that euthanasia is such a controversial topic is because it contests people’s value systems (Poreddi et al)....   [tags: Pro Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS)]

Good Essays
1199 words (3.4 pages)

Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die Essay

- Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die       The basic dilemma surrounding the subject of assisted suicide is who has the right to choose when someone dies. There are many layers of questions and varying opinions surrounding this right. How can our own self-determination be considered morally wrong when taken in the context of the opinion of others. In a society that stresses individual freedoms why is it that Congress continues to hinder doctor-assisted suicide (Keminer, 2000, p. 8).       First some terms require clarification....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]

Good Essays
2296 words (6.6 pages)