The Ethics of Physician Assisted Death Essay

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In 5th century BCE, a Greek philosopher named Hippocrates wrote the phrase “I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked [for it], nor will suggest the ways to such a counsel”(Miles, 2004). This passage is apart of a written document that is now known as the Hippocratic Oath (Appendix A). The philosophers of ancient Greece were aware of the medical predicaments that a physician would ultimately face while practicing medicine. Today, the oath has become an ethical code for the physicians to uphold and apply in their profession. Why is this phrase important enough to be included in this document? Some view this passage as the code that prohibits physicians from lending their abilities for the executions of prisoners. Others…show more content…
This means that physicians will not intervene with the patients’ condition and allow the disease to aggravate. The patients will die from the absent of life-prolonging medical treatments and their worsened physical conditions. Passive euthanasia volunteered by patients is currently authorized by the American Medical Association. Thus, physicians who perform this procedure are not in breach of the medical ethical codes (Rachels, 1975). On the other hand, active euthanasia is the use of a lethal substance to end one’s life. This method includes injecting a large amount of barbiturate or anesthetic medications into patients (Rachels, 1975). The patients would overdose on these medications and eventually pass away. Active euthanasia is the most popular method among patients who decide to end his or her life. Many patients prefer this method since ideally it is painless (Schiavo, 2011). Medical doctors are asked to perform this procedure because they have the training and the understanding of toxicology. Barbiturate is the common name for a group of drugs that act to depress the central nervous system activities (Levine, 2009). In the human body, the central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The psychomotor functions are affected significantly when barbiturates are in the central nervous system. This class of medication produces inhibitory effect
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