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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 is asked to do this is under an ethical dilemma. On the one hand, the physician is asked to help relieve one from pain and suffering. On the other hand, by helping a patient commit suicide the physician is assisting someone to commit murder even if it is the case of self-murder. This ethical case known as Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) is a controversial topic in the United States and elsewhere. Since it is an ethical issue, one way of…… [Read More]
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 (Long 1986, 206). On the other hand, In Christianity suicide is considered as an immoral act which defies God's will by being socially harmful and opposing the laws of nature (Edwards 2000). This outlook, to consider Hume' approach, disregards the fact that indenting suicide as an act that is possible, it is in no way countering God's will or nature (Hume 1986). However, the idea of permitting one to take away his life has negative impacts on public…… [Read More]
Physician-assisted suicide is a humane approach to dying and should be adopted legally in all states. Anyone who is terminally ill should have the right to choose how they die, specifically since they face death every day. Physician-assisted suicide is no more harmful than other methods of patient care that address patients needs, rights and desires. Given the fact that most terminally ill patients have a limited life to live, it is the duty of doctors and health care providers to see their rights and wishes are granted, even if those wishes include a hastened journey toward death. For many patients death is a far more optimistic outcome than living a life of pain and suffering.
A growing body of health care workers, doctors and physicians currently support physician-assisted suicide as a compassionate and caring method to deliver ones last rights. Woodman (2000) points out that many health…… [Read More]
Physician-Assisted Suicide, And Active Euthanasia
In Favor of the Moral Permissibility of Active Physician-Assisted Suicide
According to Mappes and DeGrazia, Brock's support for voluntary active euthanasia is largely based on two ethical values that he regards fundamental (402). The values in this case include the well-being of an individual and individual autonomy or self-determination. Self-determination according to Brock has got to do with letting individuals chart their own destiny, that is, allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves (Mappes and DeGrazia 402). In Brock's opinion, the relevance of self-determination cannot be overstated. Self-determination allows an individual to become the author of his or her own destiny. However, for a person to be able to make sound decisions for himself, such an individual must possess either the competence or the capacity to make the decision in question. Thus in the opinion of Brock, euthanasia and its very scope could be limited…… [Read More]
In an article in the ritish 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 strung them along, and in a way, insulted them (Hendin & Foley 2008, 1619).
This statement is shocking as neither hesitation nor a desire to not disappoint Helen's family should have been a factor in helping this woman take her life. This is a prime example of why people should not be allowed to help another in suicide -- physician or not. As humans, there are too many emotions ("Helen dying so soon was almost too much to bear") and…… [Read More]
Perhaps the most reasonable objection to physician-assisted suicide relates to the subjective element of quality of life and the degree to which that perception (on the part of the patient) is susceptible to temporary influence, such as from clinical depression or temporary physical pain or disability. To overcome that objection, it would be necessary to outline objective principles and guidelines capable of allowing physician-assisted suicide in justifiable situations while also prohibiting potential misuses and abuses.
econciling the Issues:
On one hand, there does not seem to be any legitimate justification for preventing a sane, healthy, competent individual from choosing death over prolonged agony, particularly where the condition responsible for the patient's pain is already terminal. On the other hand, the decision to end one's life is irreversible and should not be permitted to be implemented as a result of temporary conditions or states of mind. Medical error exists in all…… [Read More]
Every person has basic rights to their own health and well-being. However, during tough times when an individual is suffering dramatically, there are ethical concerns whether or not they should be allowed to commit suicide with no other options. Although this is a patients' right to autonomy, it becomes unethical for a physician to assist in such demands, as physicians have a moral obligation to perform with beneficence and thus go beyond simple non-maleficence.
The case presented here is a tough ethical dilemma. Essentially, Roberta W. has every right to practice her own autonomy and do what she wants with her own life. Because of the discomfort she has been experiencing, along with the burden she feels she is on her brother and sister-in-law, Roberta W. sees death as a viable option to end her suffering. With no option for surgery, Roberta wants something to help end her…… [Read More]
At the very least, those that hold different opinions on physician-assisted suicide should agree that medical treatment must never be at odds with moral treatment. Even though medical treatment is specialized and often differs from the way human beings usually treat each other, medical treatment should never be placed in the position where it goes against the basic moral ideals of how human beings should treat each other.
As pointed out, there are many risks associated with the legalization and use of physician-assisted suicide. One of these risks has to do with the idea that persons who wish for assisted suicide might not be appropriately served by the legal system because of built-in prejudices and human error. In the end, it is obvious that American society has not yet figured out how to help those patients that desire assisted suicide without endangering those that do not. In essence, American society…… [Read More]
A Review of Relevant Literature and Popular Opinion
Physician-assisted suicide has become a hot topic of late and many people think it is about these physicians becoming killers. This is not true, however, despite the opinions that many hold. The main problem is that many feel that physician-assisted suicide will give doctors too much control over the deaths of their terminally ill patients. This is not the case, however, as physician-assisted suicide will actually give the terminally ill patients more control over their death, and therefore by extension, more control over their life. Not all physicians would be able to do this in good conscience but there are some, most notably Dr. Jack Kevorkian, that feel that they are capable of this type of practice in order to help the suffering of their patients.
Some patients actually request this because they cannot be helped by any modern means…… [Read More]
(Foley, 54; Braddock and Tonnelli). This again, is an argument based more on conjecture rather than solid evidence. hile 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…… [Read More]
Physician Assisted Suicide Arguments Both Sides
Introduction: Why Is Physician-Assisted Death Controversial?
Physician-assisted suicide, or physician-assisted death, is now legal in four American states as well as in several countries including Canada and the Netherlands (Appelbaum. 2016). Generally, physician-assisted death applies to patients diagnosed with a terminal illness. The request to terminate the life prematurely is based on the patient’s tremendous suffering. In Canada, for example, “pphysicians whose patients disclose a wish to die must always be listening for underlying deep sorrow,” (Chochinov, 2016, p. 253). However, it can be difficult if not impossible to determine whether a patient’s expression of sorrow is temporary, influenced by physical pain or exacerbated by underlying mental illness. Physician-assisted suicide can also be framed as a moral issue, with some physicians claiming that assisting a patient to die goes against the tenets of the medical profession (American Medical Association, 2018). This paper uses two…… [Read More]
Order ID: ight-to-Die Opinion
Suicide is a very emotionally and morally charged subject to many people. The reason for the discord and divergence of opinions comes from the different perspectives and directions. Some of these motives and viewpoints are based on morality beliefs, religion or a combination of the two. Others are based more on humanity, empathy and the belief that suicide can be a solution to end misery and chronic pain. Some hold that taking one's own life is selfish, immoral and damaging to family and friends. Others hold that such a decision should reside with the individual in question alone. While there is no single answer that will placate all pundits, scholars and ethicists, the right to die should be allowed under the care of a physician and provided that the necessary conditions are met.
Perhaps one of the more strident views about suicide emanates…… [Read More]
Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Right to Die
More and more patients in and end-of-life phase are expressing a desire for physician-assisted suicide (PAS) as an option that allows them to die with dignity and forego the pain and suffering associated with their disease and deteriorating condition. Yet in most states in the U.S., physician-assisted suicide remains illegal. The policy of this paper would be for lawmakers to be encouraged to pass a bill that makes PAS legal at the federal level. By having the right to die, patients can choose to end suffering in a way sanctioned by society and law with the help of providers who view it as an ethically sound approach to quality care.
Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is an issue that touches on quality of life factors. PAS is a process by which a physician makes available to the patient the means for the patient…… [Read More]
right to terminate artificial life-Support system a practical condition on the successful practice of medicine?
Terminating artificial life support is often viewed as being qualitatively and ethically different from physician-assisted suicide or aid-in-dying. Withholding treatment is sometimes referred to as passive euthanasia (Steinbock, 2015). When in a fully cognizant, possibly healthy state of mind a patient had provided express written directives that artificial life support be withdrawn under certain specific conditions (also known as an advance directive), physicians may withdraw the life support if those conditions had been met.
Unfortunately, most cases of patients on life support are less clear-cut. The right to terminate artificial life support should not be one taken lightly, as insurers could too easily abuse their power by mandating the termination of life support in some situations in order to save money. On the other hand, terminating artificial life-support makes sense in cases like that of…… [Read More]
That is, in understanding an issue or phenomenon, it is vital for the observer or the sociologist to put it into context in order to create the right "picture" of what is happening. For example, the structural functionalist perspective of criminology posits that crime occurs because of deviant behavior, and that deviance is but an inevitable part of the society. From this perspective, crime is the counterpart of society's function -- that is, a dysfunction that acts as a force or structure that balances the structure and order of human society. It is through the conflict between society's functions and dysfunctions that social change is stimulated, helping society develop. In the case of crime, it is an essential dysfunction in the society in order to help induce social change through the development of policies and laws that aim to maintain and observe the peace and order of human society.
Crime…… [Read More]
Power to Kill
Ethics in modern medicine are still grounded in a document that is thousands of years old: the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath states, "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect," (Tyson 1). Clearly, the Hippocratic Oath warns against the practice of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. Physician-assisted suicide is generally considered to be against the tenets of practicing medicine, because medicine is supposed to heal, not kill. In spite of this fact, several American states including California, Oregon, ashington, and Vermont have legalized the practice of physician-assisted suicide. The legalization follows a modern modification of the ancient Hippocratic Oath, which is not used in every American hospital but which does allow for the possibility of euthanasia (Tyson). Although it seems like a compassionate means of resolving pain, there are several reasons to oppose…… [Read More]
Dennis C. Vacco Attorney General of New York, et al. v. Timothy E. Quill et al.
How does the U.S. Supreme Court answer the question, "Is withdrawing lifesaving medical treatment a form of assisted suicide?"
In their decision in Vacco v. Quill, the U.S. Supreme Court held that despite the compelling and legitimate claims advanced by assisted-suicide proponents that terminally ill patients have a right to hasten their deaths through physician-assisted means, laws prohibiting physician-assisted suicide do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause; however, everyone who is mentally competent does have a fundamental constitutional right to refuse any type of undesired medical intervention, even those that are intended to prolong their lives. In this regard, the Supreme Court emphasized that, "Everyone, regardless of physical condition, is entitled, if competent, to refuse unwanted lifesaving medical treatment" but "no one is permitted to assist a suicide."
Therefore, this case drew…… [Read More]
In the article Active and Passive Euthanasia by Rachels, the author identified the conventional doctrine on the morality of euthanasia. This doctrine allows passive euthanasia but does not allow active euthanasia. Basically this is saying that it is alright to let someone die if that is what is eventually going to happen anyway, but it is not alright to do something to help someone die. And this is the way that it should be. No one should be allowed to decide whether someone else is going to die or not. Death is a natural occurrence and should be left that way. This same sentiment was also made by Callahan in the article Killing and Allowing to Die. This author maintains that there is a valid distinction between killing and allowing dying, and he defends the distinction by reference to three overlapping perspectives, metaphysical, moral and medical.
According to the fourteenth…… [Read More]
Physician assisted suicide is a kind of euthanasia where the physicians provide the deeply suffering patients with the lethal drug dose to end their life on their will, where the patient is the one who administers the drug within himself and no the physician (Brock). The physician is thus an assistant in their ordeal of committing suicide due to excessive pain of terminal illness or the fear of future painful death due to their medical condition. Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia should be legalized and frameworks be made to assist the practice whereby patients are given autonomy over their body and can relish a dignified death rather than a painful one.
The topic is very important since there have been so many arguments for and against it given to the sensitivity of the topic and traditional moral beliefs on which it was condemned in the past but…… [Read More]
Euthanasia means "good death." People see euthanasia as a "mercy killing" as defined in chapter 5. Euthanasia is supposed to mean the act is done out of concern or compassion for a dying person who is suffering. However, when euthanasia is coerced on someone or is made the only option, then euthanasia no longer signifies "good death." In reality, it signifies death, not only that, but possibly, forced death. Maggie Little talks about how medicine sometimes gets in the way of a "good death." Euthanasia or acts like it can very well take away the 'good' of a "good death." "
I personally do not believe physicians should be given the option to hasten death even if a person is terminal. There are several reasons, but the most important is, it may have a detrimental effect for those that are poor and cannot afford care. If physicians are allowed to…… [Read More]
Washington et al. v. Harold Glucksberg et al." (CIB, 357-360)
How does the U.S. Supreme Court answer the question: "Is there a constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide?
The Supreme Court answers that question by saying no, there is no constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide. On the contrary, the government has the responsibility to protect life and to support it, and this overrides any question of liberty regarding the patient's right to choose whether to live or die. In other words, the government in the case of Washington et al. v. Harold Glucksberg et al. states that suicide is a health problem that should be alleviated not facilitated. It shows that the constitution is a document that upholds the value of life and therefore does not sanction the concept of physician-assisted suicide. The Court goes on to rule that in order for states to…… [Read More]
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 of euthanasia, and distinguish it from physician-assisted suicide. When considered from a utilitarian perspective, euthanasia can be considered an ethical practice under certain circumstances but not others. Unlike deontological or duty-based ethical theories, utilitarianism allows for flexibility in making decisions related to the right to die with dignity. Utilitarianism generally supports euthanasia for three main reasons. The first is the principle of patient autonomy. The second is the principle of harm reduction. The third is the healthcare principle of beneficence,…… [Read More]
ight to Die
The case of Mildred D: The right to die
The core dilemma of 'the right to die' of Mildred D. revolves around Mildred's alleged statement to her children that she wanted no heroic means to continue her life. There is also the question of whether intravenous feeding is 'heroic' means, since removing the NG will effectively 'starve' her and ending her life before it would naturally terminate were the NG tube not removed. Food is usually not considered 'additional' means of life support, although it is debatable whether food not administered by mouth constitutes heroic means. Mildred had no living will clarifying her wishes and is now not competent to make the decision herself.
Legally, in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, "the Court considered whether Missouri could insist on proof by 'clear and convincing evidence' of a…… [Read More]
physician-assisted suicide. Specifically, it will show why I disagree with physician-assisted suicide. Physician-assisted suicide is too much like playing God. When people die should be up to their bodies and God, not a doctor who is not involved with them or their families.
In many religions, suicide is a sin, and if you commit suicide, you will go to Hell. This refers to any kind of suicide, even physician-assisted suicide. "As unrepentant simmer, suicides were denied burial in consecrated ground and expected to end in Hell" (Van Den Haag 136).
Even if it is not a sin, it is not normal. Normal people do not commit suicide; they have something wrong with them mentally or physically, and cannot deal with it, or deal with the pressures of life. People who commit suicide with the help of a physician because of a terminal disease are no different from anyone else. They…… [Read More]
Is physician-assisted suicide ethical if the patient requests medical assistance in terminating his or her own life?
In the U.S., the Supreme Court ruled in Washington v. Glucksberg (1997) that physician-assisted suicide is not protected by the Constitution. However, in other parts of the world, physician-assisted suicide is accepted socially and legally; and in the U.S., a patient who is terminally ill may engage in assisted-dying procedures, which are legal in six states and are legally differentiated from suicide (Buiting, Dieden et al., 2009). If one sets aside the legalistic parameters differentiating physician-assisted dying from physician-assisted suicide, can one say that the former is more ethical than the latter?
In other words, is physician-assisted suicide ethical if the patient requests medical assistance in terminating his or her own life?
In spite of what is permitted under the auspices of physician-assisted dying procedures, this paper will argue that…… [Read More]
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 physician’s role as healer,” (p. 1). Second, the AMA points out that there are too many ways the process can be abused. As alternatives to physician-assisted suicide, the AMA recommends improving access to pain relief and emotional support to patients with terminal illnesses.
Another reason for opposing physician-assisted suicide is the rapid pace at which medicine advances. If a person has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, there is still a possibility—however slim—that either a cure or an…… [Read More]
Physician Assisted Suicide in Patients With Unbearable Suffering or the Terminally Ill
One of the most hotly debated issues today is physician-assisted suicide. ecently, California became the fifth state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, and there is an increasing likelihood that other states will follow suit in the foreseeable future. The purpose of this study is to determine if the factors chosen have any bearing on those who choose to end their life with physician assisted suicide. In support of this purpose, the objectives of this study were as follows: (a) to research scholarly articles regarding physician-assisted suicide and gather pertinent information into a comprehensive profile; (b) to research whether unbearable suffering is the dominant motive to request physician-assisted suicide; (c) to research whether the race and level of education of the patient are contributing factors when physician-assisted suicide is requested; and, (d) to research whether the type of terminal illness…… [Read More]
Physician-assisted suicide, or physician-assisted death, refers to “the process that allows terminally ill adults to request from their physician, receive from their pharmacist, and take a lethal dose of medication to end their life,” (Death with Dignity, n.d.). Although seemingly similar to euthanasia, physician-assisted death is different in that it tends to refer to situations where the patient does not act with autonomy. Physician-assisted death is still controversial and is illegal in most states. However, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and Colorado have legalized physician-assisted death, and several other states have pending legislation to do so as of 2018 (Quill & Sussman, 2018). The medical community itself is divided on the practice of physician-assisted death. Arguments for physician-assisted death include the rights of patients to self-determination. Arguments against physician-assisted death include the obligation of the physician to heal, not kill, the potential for ambiguous situations where there is some risk…… [Read More]
Topic: Is physician assisted suicide morally acceptable when a person is suffering from a painful, incurable, terminal condition?
Physician-assisted dying has become a contentious issue that pits the rights of the patient for autonomy and self-determination against the principles surrounding the practice of medical care. Seven states have passed laws that allow physicians to help terminally ill patients by offering medications that hasten death (Whitcomb, 2018). However, the American Medical Association and other organizations disapprove of physician-assisted dying. This paper will outline the arguments on both sides, focusing on two online articles.
The first article is an opinion piece published by the American Medical Association. While this article is not scholarly and does not even provide a binding or governing tenet for the medical profession, it is nevertheless authored by a credible source. The authors argue that the goal of medical care is to preserve or extend life,…… [Read More]
Judgment on Physician Assisted Death
Prosecutions, where the state stands as the main complainant, are held up as criminal prosecution. A State prosecutor is duty bound to prove sufficiently that the action of the accused was inconsistent with the existing laws. In the case of the physician who gave a lethal dose to assist a terminally ill patient in dying it is the duty of the prosecutor to defend the existent law. The prosecutor ought to present to the court sufficient information regarding the law on physician assisted deaths.
Decision Taken and Justification
The legality and legality of physician-assisted death have raised numerous debates some leading to the Abolishment of laws against assisted suicide others upholding the law. The different state has differing justification on assisted suicide with some allowing physician-assisted suicide on grounds of the patient's quality of life and others assessing the palliate care measure explored to determine…… [Read More]
This has sparked many debates in social and political arenas in regards to personhood, self-determination and human autonomy.
Any time a person wants to intentionally end his or her life, it is considered suicide. Suicide, in itself is now legal (Manning, 1998), but proponents of euthanasia argue that suicide may not be an option for the terminally ill, the hospitalized or physically disabled. These people may not have the strength or the means to end their lives alone, therefore, they cannot exercise the option of suicide and consequently are being discriminated against (Gifford, 1993).
I personally agree with those on the pro-euthanasia side of the camp, who believe that suicide is not an appropriate term for this issue because suicide is often associated with desperate emotion whereas euthanasia is based on a "cogent and deliberate form of relief from a painful and hopeless disease" (Adams, 1992). As opposed to suicide,…… [Read More]
Euthanasia comes from the Greek phrase meaning "good death," ("Euthanasia" 112). The various practices that fall under the general rubric of providing a person with the means for a "good death" include physician-assisted death, also referred to as physician-assisted suicide. Until recently, all forms of euthanasia were illegal in the United States and in most other developed countries but within the past generation, these laws have been liberalized so that citizens in democratic societies increasingly have access to a "good death." Physician-assisted suicide occurs under the guidance of an experienced and qualified physician, who is not legally obliged to agree to the practice. Therefore, no coercion takes place. The doctor is not permitted legally or ethically to coerce a patient into dying prematurely and the patient is likewise not ethically or legally allowed to persuade their doctor to intervene on their behalf. hat physician-assisted death laws do allow is for…… [Read More]
Laws and Health Care
The health care industry has undergone massive overhaul in recent times and the impact of the laws and regulations that accompany this change have deep and resounding effects on the way professionals approach their industry. The purpose of this essay is to explain the role of governmental regulatory agencies and their effect on the health care industry.
This essay will first provide two examples of laws and regulations that have empirically demonstrated a noticeable and impactful transformation of the system. The next section of this essay is how these laws have personally affected me and my environment in Samaritan Hospital and how these regulations both serve and detract from our overall objectives of patient quality and healing those who seek our help.
Example 1: Affordable Care Act
Laws and regulations are present at many different levels within the health care industry. Private practices surely have their…… [Read More]
Physician-assisted suicide or death has emerged as a major controversial and medical-ethical issue in the modern health care system. This issue has attracted huge concerns and debates among policymakers, medical practitioners, and the public. These concerns and debates have led to the emergence of arguments and counter-arguments in support and opposition to physician-assisted suicide. In addition, physician-assisted suicide has become a topic of research by various scholars based on these concerns and its benefits and/or disadvantages. An example of a research that focuses on the issue is the study by Timothy E. Quill on why physician-assisted suicide should be allowed. The author argues for the acceptance of physician-assisted suicide based on his experience as a primary care physician and the assistance he provided to many patients to die with their full consent. Quill's research article is helpful in providing justification for the overall legalization and acceptance of physician-assisted suicide.
The…… [Read More]
Over time, those in support of assisted dying or what is more commonly known as physician-assisted suicide and those opposed to the same have presented strong and convincing arguments and counterarguments in support of their positions. In most cases, the term assisted dying is used synonymously with euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Assisted suicide in the opinion of Morrison "refers to when a patient intentionally and willfully ends his or her own life, with the assistance of a third party" (223). Whichever way one looks at it, life is sacred and therefore it should be preserved at all costs. In my opinion, permitting euthanasia would be in total disregard of the sanctity of human life. In the section below, I analyze some of the arguments that have over time been presented in support of assisted dying.
According to Norman et al., one of the arguments that have been presented…… [Read More]
Importance of Physician Assisted Deaths
My Ethical Position on Physician Assisted Deaths as a Nurse
The Legal isks for Nurses
The Opposing View
Summary of Arguments in Favor of My Position
Importance of Physician-Assisted Deaths
Careful reflection is needed for physician-assisted deaths and euthanasia as they often always involve complex issues related to the family, the physician and the nursing staff. The critical question is about ethics that a nurse needs to follow when a patient asks for physician-assisted death. Also important are issues related to the personal professional values of the nursing staff. Though made legal in Canada, physician-assisted deaths still involve careful evaluation -- both medically and ethically, while deciding to agree to be a part of physician-assisted deaths. While there are several perspectives and often conflicting arguments to physician-assisted deaths, most agree that the issue of ethics is of prime importance while deciding on physician-assisted…… [Read More]
death: suicide, euthanasia and the death penalty. Looking at certain aspects of each and discussing the issues concerning society. Also providing a sociological out look and economic basis for the arguments.
Death: Three Chances
Suicide is not a new phenomenon it has been around as long as mankind. The causes of suicide have been discussed on many occasions, and different theories have merged regarding the reason for which someone would commit suicide. There have been many studies undertaken in order to understand the phenomena in greater detail. Certain social factors were identified as being causal or contributing to this phenomenon, and suicides was broken down into different types, with different causes.
Henslin just as Durkheim before has looked at suicide, which Durkheim defined as any action which, leads subsequently to the death of the individual, either through positive action, such as hanging oneself or shooting oneself, or by way of…… [Read More]
Euthanasia: "Should physicians be allowed to assist in patient suicide?" (No)
Euthanasia is, quite literally, a "life and death" issue. It is no surprise, therefore, that it evokes heated debate among doctors, lawyers, philosophers, academicians as well as the general public all over the world. Although, recent developments in modern medicine have given it a new dimension, euthanasia is by no means an exclusively modern-day concern. Even the ancient Greeks had pondered over the issue centuries ago, albeit without reaching a definite conclusion about its merits or otherwise. In more recent times, euthanasia has been the subject of discussion in various forums including the Supreme Court of the United States with similar inconclusive results. Despite considerable debate and weighty arguments by either side, several key euthanasia questions remain unresolved such as "Should physicians be allowed to assist in patient suicide?" which is the subject of this paper. In the following…… [Read More]
suicide has been of interest from the beginning of Western civilization. For philosophers, clergy and social scientists, the subject raises myriad of conceptual, theological, moral, and psychological questions, such as What makes a person's behavior suicidal? What motivates such an action? Is suicide morally permissible, or even morally required in some extraordinary circumstances? Is suicidal behavior rational? How does suicide affect those that remain? The fictional books Virgin Suicides and Norwegian Wood address some of these topics, only to find, as in real life, that each situation differs and the ones who are left must find a way to personally resolve their confusion and move on.
The definition of suicide is confusing. People have long looked at suicide in a negative fashion, although someone who dies to save others is more likely to be seen in a better light than someone who has done so to relieve mental or physical…… [Read More]
Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia
The dilemma in the case of John H. is the disagreement between the two specialists handling his case. Because of John's immediate condition (internal bleeding), the doctors disagree as to whether they should obey John's wishes from earlier or whether they should follow his immediate request for assistance. Perhaps the real dilemma is John's lack of specificity regarding his wishes. In the case that his condition continue to deteriorate at the present rate, he wants the do not resuscitate. Yet in the case of a spontaneous and unforeseen complication, he wants the former order suspended for immediate care. Whether or not the doctors decide to take immediate action on John H., it is still quite likely he will die from pancreatic cancer. Whether or not John is fully coherent at the time he makes his request for immediate emergency care is somewhat irrelevant because…… [Read More]
Freedom of choice includes the right to die and the right to choose assisted suicide.
3. An older argument in favor of assisted suicide that has been recently resurfaced with the implementation of a national health care bill could be termed the "economics argument" which states that the costs of keeping people alive who are going to die anyway is exceedingly high, higher than the benefit that the money and energy to maintain life bring. Life prolonged unnecessarily is costly to society and that money and those resources are being wasted and could be used more productively.
4. In essence, the final common argument us used in a number of legal and ethical situations and pretty much states that assisted suicide is already being performed in many hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes by physicians and nurses. It makes sense to formally legalize it so people will not have to sneak…… [Read More]
Biological Aspects of Aging
I can honestly say that I have been extremely affected by this course in terms of general knowledge related to the death, dying and grieving process. Prior to taking this class, I was largely ignorant of the various processes that all people (who live long enough) go through relating to their interminable procession towards the grave. One of the most salient aspects about this particular course was the ramifications of improvements in science, technology, and medical care that has allowed for an increasingly aging population. With many baby boomers now headed towards their latter stages of life, the relevance of this class, its textbook, and additional course materials has never been greater. In certain ways, I feel as though I am much more cognitively prepared for what is to come in the future. Yet one of the benefits of this class is that it has also…… [Read More]
young, most of us do not think about making a conscious decision to die. e look forward to years of long and healthy life, and if death ever seems appealing it is as an antidote to depression. It does not often, if ever, occur to us that there will be a time when we look forward to the "good death" promised by euthanasia.
But it is inevitable that for many of us there will come a time in our lives when suicide may indeed seem appealing because we are fighting a losing battle against a certainly fatal disease that fills our remaining days with pain and despair. In such a position many of us may wish to have our doctors help us die by prescribing for us drugs that when we ourselves take them will prove to be fatal. Or we may wish that other people should have this option…… [Read More]
As the narrow policy discussions regarding Physician-Assisted Suicide continue, we ought to encourage all presently existing and legal methods of reducing the painful sufferings during the last phase of life.
Drickamer, Margaret, a; Lee, Melinda. a; Ganzini, Linda. (1997, Jan 15) "Practical Issues in Physician-Assisted Suicide" Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 126, no. 2, pp: 146-151.
Emauel, Ezekiel. (1997, Mar) "Whose right to die?" The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 17, no. 2, pp:
Hayden, Laurel a. (1999, Apr) "Ethical Issues: Helping Patients with End-of-Life Decisions"
The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 99, no. 4, pp: 2401-2403.
Kaplan, Kalman. J; Harrow, Martin; Schneiderhan, Mark. E. (2002, Spring) "Suicide, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in men vs. women around the world: The degree of physician control" Ethics and Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1, pp: 14-20.
Quill, Timothy E; Meier, Diane. E; Block, Susan. D; Billings, Andrew. J. (1998, Apr) "The
Debate over Physician-Assisted…… [Read More]
For instance, the Independent Commission on Assisted Dying recommends that doctors "be allowed to prescribe drugs to end the lives of terminally ill patients who have fewer than 12 months to live" (Beckford, n.p.) However, the commission according to Bedford further points out that such individuals must be "judged to have the mental capacity and clear desire to die." In such a case, physician-assisted suicide will be available to only a select few. ith the right mechanisms in place, fears over 'death on demand' or concerns regarding the 'commercialization of death' will be put to rest. In their own words, Kopelman and De Ville point out that "one very important factor affecting the potential for abuse of any practice is what safeguards are erected to guard against the abuses most feared and likely" (64). ith that in mind, the relevance of proper safeguards when it comes to physician-assisted suicide cannot…… [Read More]
He argues that if society were to allow the terminally ill to commit suicide, then it would be a small step to allow other members of society -- like the handicapped -- to do so as well. This is not a completely trivial argument for two reasons: first, it is the point-of-view held by the majority of the Christian right -- a powerful political force in the Untied States; and second, if we accept his principle that life is intrinsically valuable, regardless of individual's rights over their own bodies, then we should be inclined to believe that active euthanasia is always wrong. Yet, Otremba is willing to concede that passive euthanasia may, sometimes, be permissible; this, however, only under the conditions of extreme suffering and impending death.
Fundamentally, it is a precarious moral position to contend that each and every human life demands society's active preservation. Otremba, and many others,…… [Read More]
The act of suicide has historically been considered a tragic act that cannot be forgiven in Abrahamic religions. In other cultures, such as in Japan, suicide has actually had traditional purposes. Samurai, for example, were expected to commit 'seppuku', a process of slowly cutting oneself open in the stomach, in order to save face for their family for their losing a battle. For the purposes of Dr. Kevorkian, however, who operated in the United States, his determination to provide assisted suicides led to many of his patients countering the official doctrine of the state as well as the church, of suicide as a negative thing which should be discouraged and made illegal.
The legend of Dr. Kevorkian began at the University of Michigan medical school, where the young doctor began to think about 'the determination of death', or the ability to choose to die. He published his…… [Read More]
On the other hand, it is much less clear what the presumed logical basis is of governmental intrusion into the choice to end one's life where that decision is made by a sane person who is not responsible for others.
In medicine, that dilemma arises only among patients whose choice to end life is motivated by the understandable desire to escape untreatable physical pain or discomfort.
In some cases, it is not necessarily pain per se that the patient, but physical or cognitive debilitation that patients wish to escape by authorizing their physicians to end their lives painlessly. Typically, Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable illnesses and congenital diseases that caused them more pain than they wished to endure until their natural death. All of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable conditions that either caused continual physical pain that could not be relieved by any medical treatment or they wished…… [Read More]
1993). Within medical settings in particular, physicians and supervisors are often too over-burdened with their myriad formal responsibilities to take note of minor irregularities in protocols and procedures. Because coworkers are often in the best possible situation to notice inadequacies, it is important for all levels of employees to be equally involved in the overall CQI process.
Optimal implementation of an effective CQI process also requires a culture of openness to suggestion and confidentiality with respect to reporting more serious issues such as those that result from negligence or willful misconduct on the part of co-workers.
11. The textbook states that "an organization's most vital component in costly resource is its staff." With this being the case, the human resource function plays a very important role. Should the human resource function be part of the senior management team?
In terms of policy implementation and organizational philosophy, the human resources function…… [Read More]
euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide on ReligiousTolerance.org, most people in North America die "a bad death," one characterized by pain, being unable to participate in their medical treatment program, or after spending over ten days in intensive care. A prevailing belief that any sign of life is preferable to death fuels arguments against the practice of voluntary euthanasia, distinguished from involuntary euthanasia in that the suicide is requested directly by the person in question. Euthanasia is one of the most controversial subjects in medial ethics today. On one side of the argument, organizations like the Hemlock Society have pushed for legislation that permits physician-assisted suicide (PAS). These efforts have met with a degree of success in the United States; in 1994 Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act allowing PAS. However, there is even a distinction between voluntary euthanasia and PAS: with PAS, the physician simply provides the means with which…… [Read More]
Certainly in nature, one who was too ill to move would not last long. They would certainly not be placed on a feeding tube, having a machine breathing for them, mechanical devices doing all but forcing their heart to beat. Does having the power to extend life mean that physicians then have a duty to do so? According to Lachs, "Medicine does not surrender its vocation in serving the desires of individuals: since health and continued life are among our primary wishes, its career consists in just this service." If the primary duty of a physician is to honor their patient's wishes for health, then if a patient desires death as an end to suffering, that physician does not have a duty to prolong that patient's life. Rather, prolonging life against the wishes of the patient breaches the duty of the profession.
hy, then, do physicians continue to take incredible…… [Read More]
e. The exceptions made for impairment and age would open a Pandora's Box of legal precedence. The Death with Dignity Act and any other forthcoming active euthanasia laws will likely continue to follow the same line of reasoning, i.e. that it is the unimpaired individual who must shoulder the full responsibility of the decisions he or she is making regarding the end of his or her life. That is in fact the point of the law, that a physician's responsibility as well as the responsibility of anyone who is active in the act of euthanasia is relinquished entirely to the will of the dying individual. In the case of a child this decision cannot be made by a proxy, nor can this decision be made for an individual who is mentally impaired, by his or her guardians or care takers. Though the parents in this case have fundamentally compelling arguments…… [Read More]
father's death and her father requesting that treatment be accorded him so that he speedily is delivered from his pain, Ms. Wolf is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to accede. Always a staunch opponent of any euthanasia-assisted program, she realized that the choice was not so simple and that sometimes suicide or euthanasia exists in the gray zone.
Ultimately, nature, as she puts it, helped her out and her father lingered on long enough to enjoy his last remaining moments with her and die comfortably and at peace.
In those last few hours, she sang to him, reminisced about his time with her, they shared loving and tender recollections (he moved his jaw three times inferring that he loved her); the father had a chance to see his other loved ones and his death was more of a closure. More so, during that period of time, he…… [Read More]
I do not believe that wearing glasses or make-up is wrong, even though this is an enhancement of the human body by improving one's life by being able to see, or covering blemishes and unsightly birthmarks that might make an individual self-conscious. Is selecting the best sperm donor really so much different than a man or a woman basing his or her choice of a mate upon that individual's appearance, intelligence, and lack of unpleasant 'skeletons' in the genetic closet? Svaulescu's idea that one has a moral obligation to screen for genetic defects or to personally improve the human race through reproduction makes one queasy, but the idea of leaving everything up to nature, in theory, would mean an end of folic acid for pregnant women or even birth control.
But really, the ultimate argument for allowing patients to attempt to engineer their offspring by selecting 'better sperm' may be…… [Read More]
person has the right to live their lives with dignity and freedom, a person also has the right to die with the same dignity and freedom. A person who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, for which there is no cure and which causes certain pain, should not be forced to suffer. Likewise, a person should be allowed to choose whether or not to keep their body on life support indefinitely, even if they are in a persistent vegetative state from which no meaningful recovery. The collective issues known loosely as "right to die" comprise various types of physician-assisted suicide, in which a medical doctor can help a terminally ill patient to end their suffering. ight to die legislation, like that recently passed in the state of California, helps not only the patients but also their families ensure all Americans have access to the quality of life they deserve.…… [Read More]
Death With Dignity: A ight or Not?
The issue of "euthanasia" is a matter of great controversy today. It is often difficult to judge who the "right" to die under the influence of euthanasia without the "power of attorney" should be afforded. eligiously, one cannot predict the "miracle" of God in daily life. For a patient to live through feeding-tube for the rest of his/her life in the hospital or nursing home does not show any dignity to our beloved ones. This paper will examine the issue of death and dignity from the perspective that all patients deserve to die with dignity, but face many obstacles in doing so.
One of the more frequent arguments against voluntary active euthanasia in the media and in literature is that "the push for a legalized right to die with medical assistance is a radical movement" carrying with it "alarming implications" for society (Ballis…… [Read More]
A person should always have the opportunity to die with dignity and perhaps even "discover the meaning of one's life" as pointed out by Pythia Peay.
At the very least, those that hold contrasting opinions on euthanasia should be able to come to an agreement that medical treatment must never be superseded by moral treatment. Even though the science of medicine is often highly specialized, it must never go against the moral ideals of the terminally-ill patient. Undoubtedly, there are many risks associated with euthanasia, but in the end, it should be the patient who decides. But in cases where the patient cannot respond nor make decisions, a living will appears to be the best solution, for this document clearly states the wants and desires of the person in case their lives turn for the worse and if they end up connected to a machine in order to stay alive,…… [Read More]
Fact sheet on end-of-life care. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/pi/eol/factsheet1.pdf
Fact sheet on end-of-life care, published by the American Psychological Association discusses the adult's mental health needs near the end of life and the obstacles they confront to having a comfortable death.
Foley, K.M., (1995). Pain, Physician assisted dying and euthanasia. Pain 4, 163-178.
Foley discusses how access to and delivery of pain treatment are seriously deficient in the present health care systems in the United States. The author advocates expanding services and resources to care for the dying patient.
Isaacs, S.L. And Knickman, J.R (1997). To improve health and health care. San Francisco, CA: Jossey ass.
Isaacs and Knickman examine programs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health care philanthropy. They reports its history, evaluates its effect, and discusses lessons learned as well as provide a frank discussion of why some problems can't be easily solved.
Langer, G. (2003,…… [Read More]
How can we trust physicians to weigh pros and cons of so many health decisions, but impose judicial authority upon them on end-of-life issues?
Of course, opponents argue that this will be a slippery slope to allowing rampant assisted suicide. However, with any freedom, there are always some limitations. Giving individuals freedom of speech has not created a 'slippery slope' where individuals can be slandered. Even regarding First Amendment free speech, there are limits upon citizens in terms of revealing state secrets or using speech as a weapon -- the example of calling 'fire' in a crowded theater comes to mind. There could be limits upon the circumstances to ensure physicians could not assist severely depressed or mentally incompetent individuals to commit suicide, for example.
There are also practical considerations which the court does take into consideration when deciding many issues of social policy, as it did in Brown v.…… [Read More]
Healthcare/Statistics/Human esources Leadership
Unit 3-Assignment Details: Statistic
Empirical probability of an occurrence is essentially an estimate that this occurrence will take place on the basis of how frequent the occurrence takes place subsequent to the collection of data or conducting an experiment. Empirical probability is grounded distinctively on direct observations or experiences. On the other hand, theoretical probability of an occurrence is the number of ways that the occurrence can take place divided by the total number of outcomes. In other words, it is trying to find the probability of occurrences that emanate from a sample space of known equally probable outcomes (Anastas, 1999). The law of large numbers is considered to be one of the main theories of probability and asserts that the sample mean converges to the distribution mean as the sample size rises. The law of large numbers offers a clarification on the manner in which empirical…… [Read More]