Physician Assisted Suicide Is it Right or Wrong? The ethical issues of physician-assisted suicide are both emotional and controversial, as it ranks right up there with abortion. Some argue physician assisted suicide is ethically permissible for a dying person who has choosing to escape the unbearable suffering at the end of life. Furthermore, it is the physician’s duty to alleviate the patients suffering, which at times justifies providing aid-in -dying. These arguments rely a great deal on the respect for individual autonomy, which recognizes the rights of competent people to choose the timing and manner of their death, when faced with terminal illness.
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle establishes that “every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim” and explains this through the dialectic of disposition, particularly between vice and virtue. In chapter four, Aristotle affirms that since “all knowledge and every pursuit aims at some good”, we inherently seek the highest form which is known to both the masses and the educated as happiness through both living and acting well . Thus regardless of whether man is inherently evil or good, we aspire for the highest form of happiness. Through the implications and discourse of vice and virtue, this paper explores the relevance of Aristotle’s moral philosophy in modern day and will be applied to the contemporary ethical issue surrounding physician assisted suicide. By exploring Aristotle’s work through primary and secondary sources, this paper will discuss the greater good and happiness as it relates to not only the patient or physician, but as a member of a greater social circle and that of society because to Aristotle the role of the individual is less important than their social obligations and role. This paper aims to use the rationale of natural law and of Aristotle to explore the prospects of physician assisted suicide as for the greater good and as a modern ethical obligation.
Who gets to make the choice whether someone lives or dies? If a person has the right to live, they certainly should be able to make the choice to end their own life. The law protects each and everyone’s right to live, but when a person tries to kill themselves more than likely they will end up in a Psychiatric unit. Today we hear more and more about the debate of Physician assisted suicide and where this topic stands morally and ethically. Webster 's dictionary defines Physician assisted suicide as, suicide by a patient facilitated by means (as a drug prescription) or by information (as an indication of a lethal dosage) provided by a physician who is aware of the patient 's intent (Webster, 1977).
According to Mirror News, In October of 2014 a women named Charlotte Fitzmaurice Wise was watching her daughter Nancy Fitzmaurice suffer from pain. She was born with Hydrocephalus and septicaemia which made it impossible for her to walk, talk, eat or drink. She required around the clock care and was fed through tubes. As time went on her health worsened and she would scream in pain even though she was injected with morphine. Wise believed that her daughter was in excruciating pain and deserved to be at peace. Wise submitted an application to end her daughter’s misery, and soon her application would be approved. She was able to relieve her daughter from pain, and made it legal in the United Kingdom for a parent to end their critically ill child’s life if they are disable and can’t speak for themselves.
Physician-assisted suicide is controversial in healthcare and political realms alike. Currently, this end-of-life option is practiced in five states within the United States. Social concerns regarding assisted suicide revolve around ethical quandaries; providing the means to a patient’s death is contradictory to ethical principles of healthcare providers. Political concerns surrounding the legalization of assisted suicide include disparities in healthcare that may lead to certain populations choosing assisted suicide and the stagnation of current care options. While there is no succinct manner in which to declare assisted suicide right or wrong, each individual must address the social and political concerns surrounding the issue when voting for legislation to legalize assisted suicide or pursuing the option for themselves.
Physician assisted suicide is a controversial moral issue that I feel should be allowed in all states not just a few. Right now there are only five states that have some type of death with dignity law; one which has some extra steps that need to be taken to be able to use the law. Over the last year there has been more media coverage on this topic because of a young woman named Brittany Maynard, who decided to tell her story with needing this option. The real question though should be do we have the right to tell someone that they do not deserve to have this choice?
Physician-assisted suicide is arguably one of the most controversial subjects to discuss or read about within our society. This paper will examine both sides of this discussion, from the aspect of the patient choosing to end their own life based on the quality of their remaining life. Also, the religious factors of the medical staff involved and the moral and ethical duty of the doctors to preserve the life of the patient if there are still means available.
Did you know, about 57% of physicians today have received a request for physician assisted suicide due to suffering from a terminally ill patient. Suffering has always been a part of human existence, and these requests have been occurring since medicine has been around. Moreover, there are two principles that all organized medicine agree upon. The first one is physicians have a responsibility to relieve pain and suffering of dying patients in their care. The second one is physicians must respect patients’ competent decisions to decline life-sustaining treatment. Basically, these principles state the patients over the age of 18 that are mentally stable have the right to choose to end their life if they are suffering from pain. As of right
My essay topic is whether or not physician assisted suicide is morally permissible. I intend to argue that it is permissible because a competent patient ultimately has the right to choose for themselves the course of their life, including how it will end. To lie in a hospital bed in a vegetative state, unable to see, think, speak, eat, being totally unaware of your surroundings or those of your loved ones nearby speaks loudly of the pain and suffering at all levels for a terminally ill patient. Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is ethically justifiable in certain cases, most often those cases involving unrelenting suffering. While PAS is not
1. (problem – PAS): In today’s society, Physician Assisted Suicide is one of the most questionable and debatable issues. Many people feel that it is wrong for people to ask their doctor to help them end their life; while others feel it is their right to choose between the right to life and the right to death. “Suffering has always been a part of human existence.” (PAS) “Physicians have no similar duty to provide actions, such as assistance in suicide, simply because they have been requested by patients. In deciding how to respond to patients ' requests, physicians should use their judgment about the medical appropriateness of the request.” (Bernat, JL) Physician Assisted Suicide differs from withholding or discontinuing medical treatment, it consists of doctors providing a competent patient with a prescription for medication to aid in the use to end their life.
In today’s society, suicide, and more controversially, physician assisted suicide, is a hotly debated topic amongst both every day citizens and members of the medical community. The controversial nature of the subject opens up the conversation to scrutinizing the ethics involved. Who can draw the line between morality and immorality on such a delicate subject, between lessening the suffering of a loved one and murder? Is there a moral dissimilarity between letting someone die under your care and killing them? Assuming that PAS suicide is legal under certain circumstances, how stringent need be these circumstances? The patient must be terminally ill to qualify for voluntary physician-assisted suicide, but in the eyes of the non-terminal patients with no physical means to end their life, the ending of their pain through PAS may be worth their death; at what point is the medical staff disregarding a patient’s autonomy? Due to the variability of answers to these questions, the debate over physician-assisted suicide is far from over. However, real life occurrences happen every day outside the realm of debate and rhetoric, and decisions need to be made.
Physician-assisted suicide, the practice that allows physicians to prescribe medications to terminally ill people, is illegal in forty five states and DC. Oregon, in contrast, is one of the five states that have legalized this procedure. One of the most recent and publicized cases of euthanasia happened there, in 2014. The patient used to be a California resident which led to a bill that was signed into law by the California governor, just yesterday- October 5, 2015. Assisted-suicide is also permitted in Washington, Vermont and Montana.
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”
Physician assisted suicide, the suicide of a patient suffering from an incurable disease, effected by the taking of lethal drugs provided by a doctor for this purpose. The question of whether or not this practice should be made legal in the United States has been one of controversy since 1997. Beginning with the case of Washington v. Glucksberg, where the United States Supreme Court ruled that the matter of the constitutionality of a right to a physician’s aid in dying, was best left up to the states. Then gaining even more controversy when Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act, which allowed terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives by the practice of physician assisted suicide. (CNN.com) Proponents of physician assisted suicide
The topic that my group chose for the AP Capstone group project was Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, as we all thought that it would be a topic that would be interesting to write about. Additionally, my group was curious about the topic, and personally, I have aspirations to have some sort of career in the medical field one day. Another member in our group was very interested in law, and the other was curious about the topic, so we decided to go with the topic of physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, we originally thought that the group paper would be a very easy assignment as we, as a group had worked on other papers together before, but having our papers flow together and editing down repeated or unnecessary information was way harder than I