Assisted Suicide Essays

2266 Words Apr 14th, 2014 10 Pages
Assisted Suicide Shanette Anfield PHI200: Mind and Machine Troy Epps July 31, 2012

Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide is an ethical issue that not only has an effect on the individual, but it also reflects on the society where the individual lives. Euthanasia is an act of someone else ending someone’s life. Assisted suicide is the act of the individual having help in ending their own life. “Physician-assisted suicide (PAS), is slightly different than euthanasia; in using PAS, the patient is provided the means for terminating his or her life, but the patient, not the doctor, ends the life in question” (Mosser, 2010, Chp. 2.3, para. 31). However, not all assisted suicides may
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32). The major dispute over assisted suicide is the age-old question concerning terminating any life prematurely; rather it be abortion or the death penalty. Is it murder? Dr. Jack Kevorkian was a doctor nicknamed “Dr. Death.” His nickname came from research trying to capture the stages of death with photographs, not from assisting patients with suicide. Dr. Kevorkian felt that a “dignified death” should be everyone’s choice and it would seem as if the courts, members of juries, agreed with him to a certain degree. He was never convicted of murder until it was discovered that he was the one that actually administered the legal dose instead of the patient (“Kevorkian Biography,” n.d., para. 6). Some arguments against assisted suicide are based on religion, yet some are not. The Hippocratic Oath, written by Hippocrates, is a combination of both. This oath is a physician’s binding document concerning patient care. Physicians are required to swear to “healing gods” and ethical standards. An excerpt translated from the original oath reads as follows: I will never give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect” (“Definition of Hippocratic Oath,” 1996-2012, para. 6). As a physician, if you swore to this oath, assisted suicide would be a violation of medical ethics. The Hippocratic Oath is possibly the most renowned reasoning against assisted suicide. When the trust between a doctor and the patient is

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