The Controversy of Physician-Assisted Suicide

2574 Words10 Pages
Physician-Assisted Suicide Introduction The issue of physician-assisted suicide has been highly controversial for many years in the United States, and the controversy continues today with no apparent end in sight. The idea that a doctor would assist a voluntary patient with that patient's death is repugnant to many people on ethical, moral and philosophical grounds. Still, physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Montana and Washington State, and in four other states (North Carolina, Utah, Wyoming and Ohio) physician-assisted suicide is not a technically illegal albeit it is not considered a crime. Moreover, when a person has been diagnosed as terminally ill and has reached a point in his or her life where the pain needs to be continually drowned in morphine and there is a vacuum in terms of one's sense of self, who is to say that person does not have a right to take steps necessary to end life? Therein lies the root of the controversy: modern medicine has invented countless remedies for disease and doctors and nurses take oaths to sustain life, but when individuals are in dire physical straits with no hope for a future, do they have the right to make the ultimate decision on life or death? Thesis: Every individual, every doctor and every nurse, must consult their own ethical values and decide whether physician-assisted suicide is right or wrong. This paper approaches the controversy using, among other concepts, deontology as a guidepost, which embraces the idea
Open Document