The Ethical Principles Of Physician Assisted Suicide

2297 WordsMay 5, 201610 Pages
There are a few different forms of physician-assisted death, such as active, passive, and assisted suicide. To some people they may mean the same thing but in reality, they are quite different. Active euthanasia is when a physician physically injects the patient with a drug that ends their live or in some way is the direct result of the patient’s death. Passive euthanasia is the result of something taken away from the patient that results in their death, such as removing a breathing tube or stopping treatment. Physician assisted suicide is the result of lethal medication given to the patient for them to take on their own time when they are ready to end their life. Some people see these different forms as being the same while others see them as being different. There are four ethical principles that become involved in conflict with these forms of euthanasia. These principles are beneficence, autonomy, non-maleficence, and justice, which act against each other sometimes in the cases of euthanasia. Beneficence is the duty of the physician to have the welfare of the patient is their first concern. This principle sometime goes against euthanasia because of the fact the physicians are stopping treatment, which results in the death of the patient. Many argue this act is the result of not thinking of the patient’s welfare. Another principle is autonomy, according to Steve Pantilat, “Autonomous individuals act intentionally, with understanding, and without controlling influences”
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