Advantages And Disadvantages Of Physician Assisted Death

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The controversy around physician-assisted death continues to be a relevant one. In June 2016, Canada passed the legislation to make physician-assisted death legal. Since the legalization “between 0.3% and 4.6% of all deaths reported are physician assisted deaths in jurisdictions where they are legal… and more than 70% of cases involved patients with cancer” (Emanuel_______). Due to progress in medical treatment people are able to live longer. In the short time from 1990 to 2012 the average life expectancy for a Canadian increased 5 years (CBC). Along with the ability to live longer often comes a reduced quality of life. The desire for autonomy concerning life, death, pain and suffering has increased and advances such as physician-assisted death has allowed that autonomy. There are many questions regarding the ethics of physician-assisted death, outlined in this paper are the criteria and explanations of physician-assisted death as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure. Defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary physician-assisted death is “ suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician aware of the patient’s intent”. The Supreme Court of Canada has created criteria to qualify for…show more content…
Supporting the choice of physician-assisted death allows for autonomy among patients, sparing patients from prolonged suffering and allows the government to regulate the laws that are a part of the assisted death. By opposing the option of physician-assisted death the health care team is protected both ethically and emotionally, it decreases the chance of abuse of the option and reinforces the sacredness of life. Many question if the disadvantages outweigh the advantages and since the legalization of physician-assisted death, that choice is left for each individual to
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