When I was twelve years old, my grandfather passed away after a long, excruciating struggle with lung cancer. He endured months of insufferable agony, which continued until the mercy that came with his dying breath. Looking back on this experience, I am firm in my belief that nobody should have to endure the suffering that my grandfather did. This however, is just one instance in which physician-assisted suicide would have proven beneficial. According to the New York Times, Jerry Brown, who recently signed California’s own assisted suicide law said that if he were ill, it “would be a comfort to consider the options afforded by this bill” (Boffey 1). The intent of this bill is to allow terminally ill patients to make decisions about their own health care, and to further increase the personal liberties of
A hot topic in today’s media and in discussion is the idea of physician assisted suicide and end of life care. There are several legal, ethical, social, and political issues surrounding this idea, which makes it a controversial topic. This paper will discuss some of these issues and explore the idea of physician assisted suicide and end of life care in more detail.
Assisted suicide is a rather controversial issue in contemporary society. When a terminally ill patient formally requests to be euthanized by a board certified physician, an ethical dilemma arises. Can someone ethically end the life of another human being, even if the patient will die in less than six months? Unlike traditional suicide, euthanasia included multiple individuals including the patient, doctor, and witnesses, where each party involved has a set of legal responsibilities. In order to understand this quandary and eventually reach a conclusion, each party involved must have their responsibilities analyzed and the underlying guidelines of moral ethics must be investigated. Even though assisted suicide was not discussed throughout the sixteen to eighteen hundreds, ethical philosophers investigated the roots of human morals in an attempt to create an overarching rule that would help determine if “death with dignity” is morally justified.
During the ancient Greek and Roman times’ way before Christianity emerged Euthanasia was not even a matter of concern or issue because human life was not valued as it is today. Many abortions and mercy killing were done and even thought the Hippocratic Oath prohibited physicians from giving a lethal drug to patients or any persons if asked for or not only a few followed the oath. At the time many people advocated for it and physicians acted on it as well, and now people of the 21st century continue to ask for it although the doctors are not as ignorant on the issue as before. According to Medical News Today euthanasia, has an arguable definition of whether it is a death/suicide in a painless manner, however the ignore the fact that they are
It is very clear to most that Grey’s Anatomy is an inaccurate depiction of medicine and the healthcare industry. Though heavily dramatized and ‘doctored’, there have been moments of learning, especially with this ethical issue. In episode 18 of season 6 (Suicide is Painless), Dr. Altman, a cardiothoracic surgeon, is faced with a situation where her patient, Kim Allen, wishes to end her life through physician-assisted suicide. Kim is a newly married patient with stage IV large cell lung cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes and liver. Her only option remaining is palliative care and she has been given 6 months to live and will soon have to be intubated due to breathing difficulties. Kim says it is time, has requested dying with dignity twice and has been viewed as mentally fit. The viewer walks through the plethora of struggles and emotions that Dr. Altman is faced with as she succumbs to a decision, her husband as he accepts his wife’s decision, and Kim as she elects physician-assisted suicide. In this case, and many others worldwide, physician assisted suicide is morally permissible at all ages for anyone with a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months. This is supported by act based utilitarianism and the idea of maximizing pleasure and reducing pain and suffering on an individual circumstance. By allowing a terminal patient to die a less painful death, in control of the situation, and with dignity, the patient will have amplified
Even though some patients have this fear, many are for the use of this practice because they are afraid of getting old (Pearlman, 2005). This has some physicians on their toes because they are the ones making a decision on assisted suicide, and they need a strong reason to why the patients requests for this procedure and to move forward with it. For physician-assisted suicide to occur, the law states that a patient must have a reasonable explanation on why they want this procedure done. This process is known as autonomy (Ersek, 2005). Some of these reasons could include illness, and the decision of someone who is on his or her deathbed. Research has shown that a majority of those who requests physician-assisted suicides are the ones who are wealthy and better educated. The reason for this is because they do not want anyone having to care for them, it is also known that this procedure is cheaper than caring for someone who is in, or has to go to the hospital for medical treatment (Finlay, Wheatley,
"Physician-assisted suicide isn 't about physicians becoming killers. It 's about patients whose suffering we can 't relieve and about not turning away from them when they ask for help” says Dr. Peter Rogatz. Assisted suicide isn’t an option for most terminally ill patients and even the patients that to decide they want the prescription, up to 40% of them never even take the pills. All doctors for assisted suicide just want to help their patients from living and dying in pain. Others think that assisted suicide should be legal because it will save the United States and the Government money. Over $50 billion dollars is spent of end of life care for terminally ill patients. Many people believe that providing these dying patients with this less-costly option will save the United States enormous amounts of
For instance, the cost to treat a cancer patient at the end of life triples in cost for inpatient care.1 The pressure of increasing medical costs will tend to pressure the patient to make a decision based primarily on financial reasons.2 Thus, potentially putting low-income groups at risk for hasty medical decision making. However, a study based on data collected from Oregon and the Netherlands concluded no evidence of heightened risk in the following groups: low educational status, the poor, physically disabled, chronically ill, psychiatric illnesses, and racial and ethnic minorities.3 Among the reported reasons for choosing physician-assisted suicide, the lowest on the list were financial problems at 3%, which provides stronger evidence to legalize physician-assisted suicide and allow patients the autonomy for end of life decision
The legalization of physician-assisted suicide has became an increasingly debatable topic in the United States today. The practice of assisted suicide pertains to a terminally ill patient who wants to end his or her life along with a physician’s acknowledgement of that patient’s desire to die. The debate on whether or not to legalize assisted suicide in every state has caused many uproars in the field of health care. Elements that factor into the controversy of this practice include ethicality, legality, and autonomy. Questions about the issue include: should the patient have the autonomy to select the system of assisted suicide, is it morally
Life is never guaranteed and whether it is through an illness or an accident, we as humans are eventually going to die. Physicians Assisted suicide is one of the most controversial issues. The issue of doctor-assisted suicide has been the subject of the heated dispute in recent years. While some oppose the idea that a physician should aid in ending a life, others believe that physicians should be permitted in helping a patient to end his or her unbearable suffering when faced with a terminal illness. Furthermore, Physician-assisted suicide should be legal; it should be the patient’s right to decide when and how he or she should die.
Imagine being unable to walk, unable to speak, unable to move and unable to breathe. Imagine being in a state of complete paralysis where the only thing that keeps on functioning is your brain, and you live chained to a machine doctors call life support.
For several years, physicians and patients have argued that a legal form of suicide should be legalized. Many of the patients who support this idea are in critical condition and for many of the physicians, this is their last resort. While some support this idea, others argue that this is not a logical stance to take. The concept that has swept and divided the nation is perceived as “Assisted Suicide”. The intent of Assisted Suicide is to eliminate the pain and suffering of a patient by in a sense being able to “Die with Dignity.” (Endlink3) However, this idea violates the morals of others, sends a negative message to individuals who are struggling,and terminates the possibility of the situation
Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide is an act in which a terminally ill patient should have all rights to participate in such actions. Many individuals mistaken the difference between the two, euthanasia is the act of which the doctor or third party is performing the final act of death. In the case of physician assisted suicide, the last and final act is performed by the terminally ill themselves. No matter which option a patient decides to choose, it is their choice on how they decide to handle their bodies. We often forget as a society that abortions and living wills are examples of how we choose to govern and treat our own bodies. The ending of a potential life, or as one my see it as an actual life does not share the same attention
Doctors worldwide are against euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. According to a survey done back in March 2013 by the Canadian Medical Association, only 16% of Canadian doctors were willing to participate in assisted suicide. This is because there are now alternative ways, contrary to the popular belief; the only choices are not only die painfully and slowly or euthanasia. Programs such as Palliative care have been implemented for terminally ill patients, providing them with relief from the symptoms and stress caused by these serious illnesses. their goal is to improve the quality of life of not only the patient but also the family. It involves a large team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists depending on the case.
The act of euthanasia, whether active or passive, is heavily obstructed in the medical field. Through medical ethics, the act of passive euthanasia is condoned by withholding treatment and thus, allowing the patient to die. Without any direct contact with the patient, the doctor is not considered as the cause of death. Thus, the medical field views passive euthanasia as of lesser and more permissible value in comparison to active euthanasia. In the statement made by the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association, they perceive this as contrary to mercy killing, as it is,