Assisted Suicide Case Study

1097 Words 4 Pages
On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada legalized the act for physicians to provide assisted suicide service for terminally ill and physically suffering individuals (Timeline: Assisted Suicide in Canada, 2015). The physician assisting suicide should assess whether the patient qualifies for the service and to explore other options with the patients beforehand (Judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada, 2015, p.106). In order for a patient to be eligible for the physician-assisted suicide service, the physician must determine whether the patient meets the required conditions. The first condition is that he or she must not be a part of the vulnerable population. According to Glannon (2005), a vulnerable population is defined as being …show more content…
According to Glannon, deontologist Immanuel Kant states that one of the components of his practical imperative theory is that you should focus on adhering to the duty as a medical provider to benefit the patient. Also not to use people for your own gain. Nor, should the physician 's actions be controlled by their emotions (p. 11). Furthermore, Hippocratic Oath states, "[w]hatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick [. . .]" (Hippocratic Oath Today, 2001). Hippocratic Oath emphasizes the value of a physician to treat the person in need. Moreover, virtue ethics stresses the focus on the individual 's purpose of action rather than the nature of the act (Hursthouse, 1999, p.1). For instance, the terminally ill patient may request for physician-assisted suicide as a purpose to end their suffering in dignity rather than live in a state of pain. With reference to Hippocratic Oath, the physician should act based on their duty to provide medical aid. In addition, to duty being one of the physician 's priorities, adhering to ethical principles and theories are also …show more content…
Deontologist John Rawls, emphasizes the importance of justice; an individual should not be bounded by theories of what is morally right or wrong (Rawls, 2001, pg. 13). For instance, a physician should not deny the request from the patient due to their own opinion on suicide being morally wrong and unacceptable. In addition, Glannon states, "a doctor has a primary duty to protect patients from harm" (Glannon, 2005, p. 56). He emphasizes the importances of beneficence and non-maleficent, two of the Principles of Medical Ethics; the duty of a physician is to prevent causing harm to the patient and to ease their suffering. For example, the physician should focus on their duty as a medical provider to ease the pain of those suffering, therefore not cause harm. According to Glannon (2005), an opposing voice of that is of communitarians; who place the values of the society 's morals above the individual 's (p.17). This opposing view goes against the four Principles of Medical Ethics: autonomy, justice, non-maleficent, and beneficence. That is to say that it denies the persons from their freedom of action as an individual, creates unfairness, continues to cause harm and does not provide any benefit for the patient who is

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