Ethical Issues Of Death And Dying

Decent Essays
Ethical Issues of Death and Dying
There are many ethical issues that the medical field faces daily. One major issue that is a common debate recently is death and dying and the ethical dilemmas associated with this stage in life. There are many different routes a patient can take when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness, two routes that are often up for debate are palliative care and physician assisted suicide. Many ethical concepts are brought up in the debate of these routes of care, sometimes even conflicting one another. Since medicine has advanced over many years we are experiencing a growing population of elders. With this increase in the elderly population, the debate of death and dying has become an important topic to
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Today we are face with death in a different setting then our ancestors, instead of dying at a younger age and dying in our home with our families, people are now dying at a hospital or in a medical setting. We are living longer because of the advances in medicine, this is causing us to develop diseases that our ancestors never had to face. Our ancestors did not live long enough to develop some of the diseases we face today. As Jones (2011) provides, “we don’t just die of different diseases then our ancestors, we also die in different circumstances” (p. 302). The changes in circumstances have caused us to reevaluate what is believed to be ethical when faced with dying. There are many medical options a terminal ill or elderly patient that is dying can choose from, however there is great debate whether some of these options are ethical.
With the many debates on what is and is not ethical with the end of life care, humans are faced with more ethical issues. All humans have an idea of what they believe to be moral or ethical. Looking at ethical concepts helps us as a society determined what treatment may be ethical or moral for a person during a chronic or terminal stage in their life. One ethical concept that plays a large role in death and dying is autonomy. The freedom for a patient to have control over their own health care decisions. If a patient has the ability to make informed
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