Physician Assisted Suicide Analysis

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Physician assisted suicide is by far one of the most controversial topics that has arose in the last decade. As such, there are many moral and ethical arguments both for and against the act of physician assisted suicide. Because of this, it is important to explore in detail the arguments made both in favor and against physician assisted suicide so that one can better grasp what exactly this sort of act entails.
In his book “Understanding Assisted Suicide: Nine Issues to Consider”, Seattle University School of Law professor John B. Mitchell highlights many key points of why physician assisted suicide should be legalized. Mitchell challenges popular anti-physician assisted suicide arguments that rely on religion and the notion of God as the decider
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Dyck’s book, “Life’s Worth: The Case against Assisted Suicide,” details why PAS is unethical. One of Dyck’s first arguments comes from a story in which a patient, who initially requested PAS but later found enjoyment in other things and turned away from PAS. His argument stands in which he says that patient’s wishes can change and that when they find happiness and solace in other things they will understand that PAS is not the way to go (Dyck, 14-15). Dyck also explores the concept of how PAS is not as effective as comfort-only care. The physician has to remain willing to care for and the patient has to remain willing to be cared for and that is a respect for life. PAS neglects that respect for life. Dyck then says that when the respect of life is present in the patient, they seek pain relief methods which have shown to successfully prolong life and ease pain until the illness takes the life of the patient (Dyck, 40). Killing is also a violation of an individual’s inalienable right to life, according to Dyck. He states that suicide leaves adverse effects on those that are intertwined with that individual’s life. It would also cause a copycat affect in which people would commit suicide or murder in like. There is a moral responsibility in each person to not cause this reaction and to undermine this responsibility is a violation of one’s inalienable right to life as well as others’ right to life (Dyck,…show more content…
Dyck makes many claims that there are many opportunities for abuse if PAS were legalized. He often cites instances where Dutch physicians have chosen to euthanize competent patients against their will (Dyck, 42). Mitchell also cites these instances of abuse where patients of certain Dutch physicians were euthanized without proper consent to the act being administered. He cites a 1990 survey which states that 1000 patients had been euthanized without their consent which violated the guidelines that made PAS permissible by the law (Mitchell 86). Although both authors have different rationalities and hesitations when discussing PAS being legalized, both of them acknowledge and understand that certain abuses can happen if PAS is condoned
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