Ethical And Moral Dilemmas: The Ethics Of Assisted Suicide

Superior Essays
Register to read the introduction… Other factors include the desire to preserve dignity and personhood in the dying process and opposition to prolonging life by using sophisticated medical technology when it is recognized that care is futile. Closely related to self-determination is the principle of autonomy. This principle states that persons should have the right to make their own decisions about the course of their own lives whenever they can. By extension, they should also have the right to determine the course of their own dying as much as possible.
The ethics of physician assisted suicide (PAS) continue to be debated. Some argue that PAS is ethical. Often this is argued on the grounds that PAS may be a rational choice for a person who is choosing to die to escape unbearable suffering. Furthermore, the physician's duty to alleviate suffering may, at times, justify the act of providing assistance with suicide. This relies a great deal on the notion of individual autonomy, recognizing the right of competent people to choose for themselves the course of their life, including how it will
…show more content…
No person should have to endure terminal suffering that is unremitting, unbearable, or prolonged. When the burdens of life outweigh the benefits because of uncontrollable pain, severe psychological suffering, loss of dignity, or loss of quality of life as judged by the patient, and when the circumstances are not remediable, the dying person should be able to ask for and receive help in assisted suicide (Marker, Smith 47-51). It is further argued that assisted suicide for incurably ill persons experiencing extreme suffering can be distinguished from euthanasia used for the purpose of genocide on the grounds that it is based on principles of dignity, honor, and respect and is chosen and enacted by the dying individuals, rather than being forced on them against their …show more content…
People who are against euthanasia think that these laws against euthanasia are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others. They are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer. In the other hand, supporters for active euthanasia believe that legislation against it is “violative of the fundamental concepts of liberty, freedom of choice, and self determination.” They base these beliefs on the content of the “Fourteenth Amendment” to the United States Constitution. The voluntary choice between life and death is to them, a basic human right which government has no right to decide (http://www.apa.org/pi/eol/arguments). Also, neither the law nor medical ethics requires that "everything be done" to keep a person alive. Insistence, against the patient's wishes, that death be postponed by every means available is contrary to law and practice. It would also be cruel and

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Arguments Against Pas

    • 1245 Words
    • 5 Pages

    One is that suicide should never be the answer despite health conditions due to medical ethics. On the other side, it is believed that people deserve the right to decide at what point and under what conditions they are ready to end their own lives. PAS should be legalized because patients have the right and should…

    • 1245 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    We live in a country where we have rights to speech, to learn, to love, to live, so we should have a right to die as well. If a patient is terminally ill and would like to avoid excruciating pain in a dignified manner, it should be their right. We are said to live in a country where we are free to make our own decisions, but are we free if we can’t decide whether we live or die in our own lives? However, there are conflicting viewpoints regarding physician assisted suicide. For instance, religious opponents disagree because they believe that God decides when a person dies.…

    • 716 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    After reading them, I have become more strongly believed in my stand that euthanasia should not be legalized and suicide should not be advocated. I totally agreed with the first argument of Arthur Dyck regarding suicide brings harm to not just one’s self but to others. Suicide is considered a selfish act because a death decided by one’s self always leaves a great pain in the living individuals such as family, friends, and spouses. It implies one’s life is meaningless and disregarding all the happy memories that individual had with the people around him/her. The people who live on could have regrets and pain for years because of one’s death.…

    • 1213 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Many physicians may struggle with this oath when coming to terms with a patient who requests to discontinue a life prolonging treatment. This type of request is purposefully allowing the patient to bring harm or death upon themselves, and consequently goes against the basic morals a physician is taught they should possesses. The individualistic position on suicide is based on the principle that every person’s life belongs to themselves. Thus insinuating that one has the right to take their own life, which is defined in society as committing suicide (Baillie et al., 2012). Even though an individual may be free to commit suicide, society definitely doesn’t want to encourage it or allow others to help, especially since that help can easily turn into a homicide.…

    • 1356 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    We must make provisions within our laws to regulate this issue within our boundaries under our control and supervision. We must not prosecute loved ones for "encouraging or assisting" suicide who enable or assist an ill individual to travel abroad to end their life lawfully. The ability of the wealthy to travel to countries where it is lawful for the terminally ill to end their lives has the impact of treating the haves and have-nots unequally. Another reason why euthanasia should be legal is because it, “justifies giving pain-relief treatment even if it has the effect of shortening lives, provided the primary intention was to relieve the pain, not to kill the patient” (Life Information 1). Therefore, euthanasia was intended to relieve pain from suffering people.…

    • 1516 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Rationality Research Paper

    • 1550 Words
    • 7 Pages

    As previously argued, an act is rational if the act is (i) moral, and is pursued by a (ii)rational agent for the right reasons which are consistent with his/her best self-interest, sufficiently supported, and justified by evidence and information, weighed against the value of the possible consequences, and (iii)without any emotional influence. (i) has already been addressed above. (ii) Physicians must conduct assessments on the patients to determine if they have a sound mind and if their reasons for wanting to suicide through Voluntary Euthanasia is rational. This will require the demonstration of the patient’s rationality, sensibility etc. , and confirmation that their terminal illness and suffering is irreversible, and the patient’s decision to suicide is valid and justified .…

    • 1550 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    A right to die is thus morally permissible in cases that conciliate the patient’s loss of dignity with a rationale decision-making power. It would be very limited, with cases like this one: a patient that suffers from a degenerative disease consciously signs a directive saying he/she agrees to get active euthanasia or assisted suicide once he/she has reached a point where the unsustainability of pain removes his/her dignity. Claiming a right to die should thus be prospective and operated under very special circumstances. Non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is thus morally…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Patients have an amount of say in what kind of treatment they receive when diagnosed with their illnesses, but euthanasia is not to be considered in the same way. On a National Public Radio talk show they were quoted as saying “Advocates of assisted-suicide laws believe that mentally competent people who are suffering and have no chance of long-term survival, should have the right to die if and when they choose. If people have the right to refuse life-saving treatments, they argue, they should also have the freedom to choose to end their own lives.”("Debate: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?" NPR.) The right to refuse certain treatment options is valid and when patients refuse any treatment it is just the same as letting them kill themselves.…

    • 1412 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Competent patients should have the right to determine the timing and course of their death in a medical context. This also consistent with respecting individual liberty and patient dignity (Starks, 2013). Further, if terminally ill patients that are dependent on life support have a right to refuse further treatment that prolongs their life then the principle of justice would indicate that other patients in suffering should be permitted to have an assisted death. Moreover, if the patient has competently decided that assisted suicide is desirable, they have decided that death is a lesser evil than their continued existence and so the physician should have no moral objection to euthanasia (Sikkema, 2017). Moreover, there are many other methods of suicide that are arguably more dangerous than controlled physician assisted suicide (Starks, 2013).…

    • 1228 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They suggested having this option would bring comfort and control.” as reasons for assisted suicide (Tomlinsin and others). The frame instilled from this case suggests that either individuals are for assisted suicide because personal freedom is a matter or against for reasons of unethical issues and that full exercise of this freedom would go out of hand. It also may indicate that individuals feel that the option is a comfortable way of ending their…

    • 1015 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays