Although the argument on both sides offer valid points, it is absolutely crucial that all human beings be entitled the essential right to be painlessly and safely relieved of suffering caused by diseases and other painful terminal conditions. Persons experiencing constant pain and misery as a result of health issues must be allowed the right to die with dignity if they so choose.
California recently joined Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana in legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Death, like taxes, is inevitable.
But should we be able to turn to doctors to help us die? Micco explores the complex ethical and legal issues involved.
First, what exactly do we mean by the term physician-assisted suicide? Assisted suicide is the act of intentionally killing yourself with the aid of someone who provides the knowledge or the means to do so. Suicide isn't illegal, but some people consider it immoral.
Physician aid-in-dying is distinct from euthanasia. A patient has to be able to take it on his or her own. Euthanasia is where a doctor, or another person, administers the medication.
In states that allow physician-assisted suicide, which patients qualify? Patients have to be terminally ill, which by definition means their doctor believes they have six months or less to live.
They have to be able to take the drug themselves. They must have the mental capacity to know what they are doing and what the consequences are.
They have to make two verbal requests, 15 days apart, and one written request with two witnesses. And two doctors—an attending physician and a consulting physician—must verify that the patient meets all the criteria.
There are a lot of hoops to jump through. The basic question is one of autonomy. I should have the right to take my life when that seems like the proper and best thing to do. Doctors control the means—drugs that end life painlessly. Why should they be able to withhold them from me?
What about the arguments against assisted suicide? Some people fear that it will become an ethical slippery slope. Once we allow physician-assisted suicide for competent people who are terminally ill and can take the medication on their own, it opens the way to offering it to people who are no longer mentally competent.
And then to people who are in distress but not terminally ill, such as the year-old depressed woman in Belgium.
Where does it stop? The disabled community, through organizations like Not Dead Yetoffers another argument. They insist that people should be given the right to live well before they are given the right to die with assistance.
One way is to offer more and better support to people with disabilities so they may live life more fully. Another argument comes from people who work in palliative care and hospice. But the experience in Oregon shows that nearly all of the people who received a prescription for aid-in-dying were in hospice at the time, and had access to palliative care.
They do it because they want to have control over how and when they die. Lastly, there are religious arguments against suicide. I can understand this point of view, but I think it should apply only to believers. Why should the rest of the population be held to this standard?
Do the strict guidelines for physician aid-in-dying prevent some patients from getting the help they want at the end of life? Slowly but inevitably they lose all motor function, eventually including the ability to swallow or breathe.
Along the way, they lose control of their arms. Someone would have to give it to them. Does that pose an ethical dilemma?
There are all kinds of ethical questions to wrestle with. For that matter, why should someone have to be terminally ill? Why should someone who is suffering horribly, unremittingly, not have a right to physician aid-in-dying? Those are difficult questions to answer. The legal issues are just as complicated.Home» More Subjects» Health» Argument in Favor of euthanasia or assisted suicide and make the argument that the right of those suffering to have access to euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide contend that allowing such freedoms will lead to wholesale slaughter of persons society deems “unwanted" and offers other more speculative.
This is an important argument in favor of strict controls that would confirm that a patient is not being influenced by others. Some feel that the potential for interference is so serious that all assisted suicide should be banned.
Physician-Assisted Suicide: is it Ethical and Moral not to? Mrs. Samantha Jones, 84, has severe dementia and has lived in the same nursing home for the past 8 years.
She is no longer able to walk or talk, is incontinent and needs 24/7 care. The debates regarding euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in medicine are centered around the role of physicians and the autonomy of patients during the end of life when there is suffering.
Florida State University Libraries Undergraduate Research Honors Ethical Issues and Life Choices (PHI) The aim of this paper is to make a comprehensive argument in favor of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, which are frequently addressed in separate debates.
euthanasia is not ethical because a doctor directly participates.
favor of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in order to make an ethical judgment in the question of whether there exists a right to commit suicide or to request euthanasia for terminally ill patients.