Essay on Physician Assisted Suicide ( Psa ) And Palliative Care

1933 Words Dec 5th, 2016 8 Pages
Physician assisted suicide is a relatively new topic that is causing a lot of discussion about the ethics and legal right for a person to choose to end their life. This continues to be a controversial topic in the healthcare field because research and medicine are evolving constantly, bringing about changes in societies view on death. As a member in the healthcare field it is important to explore alternatives for ones end of life care and understand the perspectives that society comprises about physician assisted suicide. It is important to first define the differences between euthanasia, physician assisted suicide (PSA) and palliative care as they have some similarities, but their implications are vastly different. Euthanasia is defined as, “a physician (or other person) intentionally killing a person by the administration of drugs at that person’s voluntary and competent request.” (Palliative Medicine, 2016, p. 108). Euthanasia can either be passive, where life-sustaining treatments are withheld, or active, where lethal substances or forces are used to end a patient’s life (Nordqvist, 2016). Physician Assisted Suicide is defined as “a doctor intentionally helping a person terminate his or her life by intentionally providing self-administrating drugs, at that person’s voluntary and competent request” (Yang & Curlin, 2016). The World Health Organization defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the…

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