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.
Threatening to diminish the value of life is very dangerous. Euthanasia, also called mercy killing, is the practice of doctors intentionally ending a terminally ill patient’s life in what is purportedly a gentle and dignified manner. The term originated in ancient Greek and means “easy death.” Doctors perform euthanasia by administering lethal drugs or by withholding treatment that would prolong the patient’s life. Physician-assisted suicide is also a form of euthanasia, but the difference between the two methods is that in euthanasia, doctors end the patient’s life with lethal injections, whereas, in physician-assisted suicide, patients kill themselves with a lethal amount of drugs prescribed by the doctors. Physicians practiced euthanasia
Euthanasia has constantly been a heated debate amongst commentators, such as the likes of legal academics, medical practitioners and legislators for many years. Hence, the task of this essay is to discuss the different faces minted on both sides of the coin – should physicians and/or loved ones have the right to participate in active euthanasia? In order to do so, the essay will need to explore the arguments for and against legalizing euthanasia, specifically active euthanasia and subsequently provide a stand on whether or not it should be an accepted practice.
People should be able to live their life to the longest. Physician-assisted suicide is a controversial topic spreading throughout the United States due to the ethical issues surrounding the topic. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in a few states and other states have passed bills to make sure this does not happen. Even though some say that all have a right to die, physician-assisted suicide should not be legal because it would be too psychologically damaging to all involved.
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
It should be considered just as much of a crime to make a person live who does not wish to continue under their circumstances, as it is to take a life without consent. In the article, "Loss of Self" Most Important in Considering Physician- Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia" a number of people who were
Delbeke discusses how some people believe assisted suicide should not just be up to physicians to perform. Some people feel that, depending on the task, even nurses, social workers and clergy could perform the suicide. A benefit of this would be less responsibility and burden on the physician, but there are more bad factors. If it starts to become acceptable to let non-physicians perform assisted suicide then more people may become involved than necessary. Delbeke provides information that she thinks assisted suicide would become institutionalized and a certain routine would come about. She believes that it would be much easier to have a physician do it because they already have all the necessary means of performing the task. The physician could discuss the suicide with a psychologist, a social worker or a clergyman to make sure the patient truly wants the suicide. For now physician assisted suicide still depends on the patients state of health, but a new question arising is whether someone can have assisted suicide if they are just tired of life. If someone is tired of life because they have medical issues, but just not as severe as a terminal illness
Assisted dying refers to a situation in which a mentally competent adult with a terminal illness makes a voluntary and informed choice, after meeting specified legal safeguards, to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life. Assisted dying is currently illegal in the United Kingdom . The topic of its legality has been subject to continuous debate both in Parliament and among the general public. On 11 September 2015, the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill, aimed at legalising assisted dying in England and Wales, was debated and defeated in the House of Commons, with Members of Parliament expressing compelling and contrasting arguments. This essay will present the arguments often expressed against legalising assisted dying as well as criticisms of those arguments.
The Code of Ethics for Nurses in Provision 1.4 specifically states: “Nurses should provide interventions to relieve pain and symptoms in the dying patient consistent with palliative care practice standards, and may not act with the sole intent to end life.” (Trossman, 2015, p7). Assisted suicide is considered to be a violation against the Code. However, we do recognize patient’s rights to refuse medications and other life-saving or prolonging treatments. So it is very important that we, as nurse, understand our legal rights on ethical issues such as the difference between assisted suicide and palliative care. Palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of their illness
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
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.
In this case study, the nurse should be able to educate Mark about his health condition and about his treatment. Even if Mark has signed the document of refusal of treatment, the nurse should have a good duty of care towards Mark. Palliative care can assist Mark (Office of Public Advocate, n.d.). Nurses should be aware of legal issues that may impact on their profession. Nurses should consult the doctor first to take any action regarding Mark’s health such order like do not resuscitate (DNR) should not attempt to resuscitate the person. Doctor need to inform nurses about the consent for medical treatment and care (Gabrielle Koutoukidis,
Western medical ethics may be outlined to guidelines on the responsibility of doctors in olden days, such as early Christian teachings. In the 5th century, the first code of medical ethics was available. In the early modern period, the field is appreciative to Muslim medicine such as Ishaq ibn Ali al-Ruhawi (who wrote the first book dedicated to medical ethics) and Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi , Roman Catholic scholastic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides. 1