Should People Have Autonomy over Their End of Life Decisions

2501 WordsMay 14, 201311 Pages
Critical and Creative Thinking | | | | Submitted by: Tanya O’ NeillStudent Number: 20017571Date: 25th October 2012 | | Introduction There is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue of people’s autonomy when it comes to the end of their lives. Why somebody would want to end their life prematurely is a question that puzzles people. So therefore is hard to comprehend why people should have autonomy over such a thing. There has been an increase in the interest of euthanasia and assisted suicide for the terminally ill in recent years (Williams 1997). The most obvious reason for someone wanting to end their life is to end the suffering they are going through once the illness goes beyond being bearable. Palliative care is an…show more content…
Very often, deliberate decisions are made which results in the end of a life. For example, a person could be kept on life support, but instead, a family member or other significant person might choose to switch off the life support machine resulting in the official death of a patient. There is also the case that resuscitation of a patient may eventually prove to be trivial and a doctor might suggest just making the patient as comfortable as possible until their eventual passing. In the above situations, a medical professional’s decisions would not be questioned or doubted. It is conventional practice (Warnock and MacDonald 2008). An organisation called Exit International was set up in 1997 by Dr. Philip Nitschke. They believe that people have the right to make an informed decision about when and how they will bring their life to an end. They provide information and support to those that need it on assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia (About Exit International 2012) “Exit’s long term goal is responsible and ethical law reform. The Swiss model of decriminalising assisted suicide is the preferred model.” (About Exit International 2012) At the moment the Netherlands is the only place in the world that one can legally take action should they decide it’s their time to go (Griffiths and Weyers 1998).
Open Document