Physician Assisted Suicide : A Ethical Issue Essay

2007 Words Apr 22nd, 2016 null Page
I. Physician-assisted suicide, under various names and colloquial definitions, has been a documented ethical issue for centuries – not to mention an undocumented ethical issue since the hypothetical dawn of life. By common understanding, physician-assisted suicide is death either directly or indirectly permitted or carried out by a physician. In simple terms, an “out” is provided. For this reason, it is often associated with chronic pain or terminal illness. Suicide where the doctor in charge is directly involved is perhaps the first situation which comes to mind when one thinks of euthanasia. This includes cases such as those in which the physician injects the consenting patient with a lethal substance in order to end their life. While this is the most well-known of methods, it is (arguably) not the most common. Oftentimes, physicians will perform an assisted suicide indirectly, say, through means of leaving a perfectly lethal dose of prescription medication within arms-reach of a suicidal patient, knowing full well what will happen. While physician-assisted suicide has been a relevant concept to society for centuries, its commonality and notoriety are ever-increasing. In more recent years, assisted suicide has gained momentum, often credited to Dr. Jack Kevorkian as he was one of the first to champion for the patient’s right to die, circa 1960. In more recent years, cases of indirect euthanasia include Terri Schiavo and Tracy Latimer. Schiavo, a Florida woman in a…

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