Physician-Assisted Suicide is Morally and Ethically Acceptable

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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. …show more content…
The moral and ethical aspects of physician-assisted suicide are important ones that shouldn’t be overlooked. In virtually all cases of assisted suicide the pain and suffering experienced by the patient is unrelievable. Although it is important to go to great lengths to try and ease the suffering through traditional medicine, often times it’s just not enough. When the traditional approach fails sometimes more drastic approaches are necessary. One such measure that has come to be highly controversial in this decade is physician-assisted suicide. This form of suicide is hotly debated because it isn’t just a mere suicide, but a planned out social contract between two or more people. The basis for my argument for assisted suicide rests in the values of individual self-determination or autonomy and individual well-being. Self-determination is central to the issue because a person should be able to choose how to live their life or in this case, how to die.

Individual self-determination is especially important in choices about the specifics of one’s death (Weir 89). Most people, no matter what the nature of their death is, are very concerned with the last stages of their lives. This concern reflects the person’s desire to retain dignity and control during this last period of life, assisted suicide gives them that control and dignity. As far as individual well-being, most people would

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