A Death Of One's Own Movie Analysis

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The documentary, A Death of One’s Own, explores the end of life complexities that many terminal disease patients have to undergo in deciding on dying and dignity. It features three patients, their families, and caregivers debating the issue of physician-assisted suicide or pain relief than may speed up death. One character, Jim Witcher has ALS and knows the kind of death he is facing and wants to control its timing. Kitty Rayl is suffering from terminal cancer and wants to take advantage of her state’s Death with Dignity Act and take medication to terminate her life. Ricky Tackett, on the other hand, has liver failure and together with his family and caregiver agrees on terminal sedation to relieve his delirium and pain. From the film, one can learn that death and dying affects not only…show more content…
The ethical principle of autonomy provides for respect for the patient’s autonomy to make decisions and choices concerning their life and death. Respecting the patient’s autonomy goes against the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. There also exists the issue of religious beliefs the patient, family, or the caretaker holds, with which the caretaker has to grapple. The caretaker thus faces issues of fidelity to patient welfare by not abandoning the patient or their family, compassionate provision of pain relief methods, and the moral precept to neither hasten death nor prolong life. After watching the film, my opinion on end of life issues changed to support the issue of terminating a patient’s life to avert further suffering and mitigate the costs involved. The physician’s failure to end the patient’s suffering brings about an abdication of the duty to do what is best for the patient. Therefore, death would be better compared to the suffering the patient may be undergoing. However, the state law may provide
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