Physician-Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia The Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Death and Dying  (general) Type: Term Paper Paper: #26262842 Related Topics: Physician, Assisted Suicide, Death With Dignity Act, Euthanasia
Excerpt from Term Paper :

(Foley, 54; Braddock and Tonnelli). This again, is an argument based more on conjecture rather than solid evidence. While it is true that depression may accompany many serious and terminal diseases and there are anecdotes about patients who changed their minds about suicide after treatment; no credible studies are available about how often it happens or even if antidepressant treatment would make patients requesting death, change their minds. (Angell, 52)

Kathleen Foley, in her article "Competent Care for the Dying Instead of Physician-Assisted Suicide" observes that advances in modern medicine have made it possible to alleviate almost all kinds of pain and even when it is not possible to eliminate pain entirely; lessening it to a manageable level is almost always possible. She, therefore, feels that the problem is lack of proper pain management training for doctors and the solution is greater access to pain relieving medicine for everyone, rather than a need for physician-assisted suicide (Foley, 53). There is no arguing with the suggestion that every effort must be made by a doctor to relieve the pain of a patient and the best available palliative care be provided to them. However, there are many terminal conditions such as full-blown AIDS and several forms of cancer in which no amounts of medicines can alleviate the nausea and pain. In such cases, no one except the patient herself can decide whether her suffering is bearable or unbearable. If a patient requests help from her physician to end her suffering by hastening a dignified death in such circumstance, the only humane thing for the physician to do would be to accede to the request.

The anti-PAS lobby has also contend that people who want to end their lives, have the choice of committing suicide themselves rather than asking for assistance in suicide from physicians. This is perhaps the most callous argument of all. Peter Rogatz counters this objection with an appropriate query: "Are patients to shoot themselves, jump from a window, starve themselves to death, or rig a pipe...

...

Many of them desire a pain-less dignified end of their lives and their physicians can provide them with the best possible advice to do so. When such a choice is not available, some patients do try the afore-mentioned violent means of suicide, with traumatic consequences for their families; and for the survivors if the effort fails. (Ibid.)

Most of all, as pointed out by Marcia Angell, the universally accepted ethical principle in the field of medicine, is respect for each patient's autonomy, which always takes precedence over other conflicting principles. For example, patients can legally exercise this right of self-determination by asking for withdrawal for life-sustaining treatment, and are required to give their informed consent to any treatment. (Angell, 51)

As argued in the preceding paragraphs, physician-assisted suicide is a humane act that helps terminally ill patients to bring a humane end to their pain and suffering by hastening their death, when all other efforts to do so have been exhausted. We also saw in this essay that all arguments against PAS do not carry sufficient weight to justify its continuing illegality. The changing values of human society and advances in medical science have greatly extended human life-spans; they make it imperative that relatively benign forms of euthanasia such patient assisted suicide may be allowed.

Works Cited

Angell, Marcia. "The Supreme Court and Physician-Assisted Suicide -- the Ultimate Right." The New England Journal of Medicine. 336:1. January 2, 1997: 50-53

Braddock, Clarence H. And Mark R. Tonelli. "Physician-Assisted Suicide." Ethics in Medicine: University of Washington School of Medicine. 2001. April 27, 2007. http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/pas.html

Foley, Kathleen M. "Competent care for the Dying Instead of Physician-Assisted Suicide." The New England Journal of Medicine. 336:1. January 2, 1997: 53-58

Hillyard, Daniel, and John Dombrink. Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement. London: Routledge, 2001.

Rogatz, Peter. "The Positive Virtues of Physician-Assisted Suicide: Physician-Assisted Suicide Is among the Most Hotly Debated Bioethical Issues of Our Time." The Humanist Nov.-Dec. 2001: 31+.

Young, Robert. "Voluntary Euthanasia." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2007. April 27, 2007 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/euthanasia-voluntary/

Physician-Assisted Suicide…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Angell, Marcia. "The Supreme Court and Physician-Assisted Suicide -- the Ultimate Right." The New England Journal of Medicine. 336:1. January 2, 1997: 50-53

Braddock, Clarence H. And Mark R. Tonelli. "Physician-Assisted Suicide." Ethics in Medicine: University of Washington School of Medicine. 2001. April 27, 2007. http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/pas.html

Foley, Kathleen M. "Competent care for the Dying Instead of Physician-Assisted Suicide." The New England Journal of Medicine. 336:1. January 2, 1997: 53-58

Hillyard, Daniel, and John Dombrink. Dying Right: The Death with Dignity Movement. London: Routledge, 2001.


Cite this Document:

"Physician-Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia The" (2007, April 27) Retrieved October 23, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/physician-assisted-suicide-and-euthanasia-38180

"Physician-Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia The" 27 April 2007. Web.23 October. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/physician-assisted-suicide-and-euthanasia-38180>

"Physician-Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia The", 27 April 2007, Accessed.23 October. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/physician-assisted-suicide-and-euthanasia-38180

Related Documents
Physician Assisted Suicide Euthanasia
Words: 2029 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Ethics / Morality Paper #: 72323918

Introduction Euthanasia, and all its variations including physician-assisted suicide, terminal sedation, and involuntary euthanasia, are among the most challenging issues in bioethics. The Hippocratic Oath, the classic ethical doctrine that guides medical practice, denounces euthanasia. However, the Hippocratic Oath is an anachronistic document that serves more sentimental and symbolic functions than pragmatic, ethical, or legal ones. Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are both defined as the “deliberate action taken with the intention

Physician-Assisted Suicide Should It Be Permissible for
Words: 1398 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Death and Dying  (general) Paper #: 27493310

Physician-Assisted Suicide Should it be permissible for one to take his life? Previously and now in many cultures, suicide has been considered as a best option in some certain situations of life. For example, in flashback we see Cato the Younger took away his life instead of living under Caesar. For stoics, suicide was a preferred and rational act and there was nothing immoral in suicide instead it was a best option

Physician-Assisted Suicide Physicians-Assisted Suicides: The
Words: 3218 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Death and Dying  (general) Paper #: 87386004

In an article in the British journal Lancet, the doctor stated that he liked Helen right off the bat, and then issued this statement: The thought of Helen dying so soon was almost too much to bear… on the other hand, I found even worse the thought of disappointing this family. If I backed out, they'd feel about me the way they had about their previous doctor, that I had

Physician Assisted Suicide Arguments Both Sides
Words: 920 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Argumentative Paper #: 24541905

Assignment 1: Is physician-assisted suicide morally acceptable when a person is suffering from a painful, incurable, terminal condition?  Premise 1: Physician-assisted suicide is not morally acceptable under any circumstances. According to the American Medical Association (2018), “permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good,” (p. 1). The reasoning behind the AMA’s position is threefold. First, the AMA (2018) claims that physician-assisted suicide is “incompatible with the

Mercy Killing Physician Assisted Suicide Euthanasia
Words: 1001 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Ethics / Morality Paper #: 67662346

Euthanasia remains one of the most contentious issues in bioethics, with implications for healthcare practice, law, and public policy. Even when religious arguments are excluded from the debate, it is difficult to determine how healthcare workers and policymakers should consider the complex issues surrounding how a person dies and what situational variables to take into account. Complicating the issue is how to define euthanasia, differentiate between active and passive types

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Kantian View Thanks to
Words: 1189 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Business - Ethics Paper #: 80307457

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Kantian View Thanks to modern developments in medical technology, people in advanced countries today live longer and stay healthy until they are relatively older. The technology, however, also allows some people to hasten their death and make it relatively pain-free. As a result, many patients suffering from unbearable pain of certain incurable illnesses from time to time ask their physicians to help them commit suicide. Any physician who