Physician Aid In Dying And Euthanasia Essay

1430 Words 6 Pages
Discussions regarding physician aid-in-dying (PAD), physician assisted-suicide (PAS), and euthanasia are often presented as ethically and morally questionable topics. In order to truly assess the ethical and public health concerns surrounding them we must establish clear definitions, critically evaluate the ethical models that apply to each, and we must analyze the arguments against their legitimization as healthcare measures.
Teasing apart the ethical implications of this topic requires clear definitions. The terms aid-in-dying, assisted-suicide, and euthanasia are frequently used interchangeably, even amongst healthcare personnel. While aid-in-dying refers to the intentional acceleration of a terminally ill patient’s death, typically through patient administered pharmacological means, assisted suicide would apply to patients that are not terminally ill but deemed to be suffering at a level sufficient to warrant death as a reprieve.1 Euthanasia differs from these concepts in that another party, in our case a physician (or doctor outside the US), administers the lethal measures.1 Since a third party is actively ending
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While PAS appears to have the principle of autonomy supporting it, the same cannot be said for involuntary euthanasia. Non-maleficence no longer seems to support either option, as it is unclear if the patient may functionally improve as in certain PAS cases, or what they’re genuinely experiencing as in the incompetent patients subject to involuntary euthanasia. Beneficence becomes gray as well; are we genuinely acting in the patient’s best interest with these options, and how would we know for sure in cases of involuntary euthanasia? However, it should be clarified that an advanced directive outlining a request for euthanasia should the patient be incapacitated and terminal should be treated as

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