Physician Assisted Suicide Vs Euthanasia Essay

2191 Words 9 Pages
Human beings everywhere experience pain, suffering, and ultimately death. Many people are considered fortunate when they undergo a quick, relatively painless death, such as when they die in their sleep. However, others endure agonizing pain over a long period of time before dying. There is an ongoing debate over whether it is permissible to end these people’s lives if they have no hope of improving their conditions or have no desire to continue fighting their symptoms. If patients wish to end their life, there are two different methods they can use: physician assisted suicide (PAS) or euthanasia. The ultimate difference between these two methods is that in PAS, the patients are required to commit the last act that will kill them, even though physicians would have to be involved in order to prescribe them the lethal drugs. Thus, the actual killings would be the patients’ work.
Euthanasia differs from PAS in that it must only occur when patients would otherwise endure suffering throughout the remainder of their lives. PAS can be used for other situations, such as when depressed people wish to end their lives, even though they may otherwise overcome their
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With passive euthanasia (PE), patients are killed due to natural causes. If patients are hooked up to life sustaining equipment, it is permissible to remove the equipment. This may cause the patients to die, but it is not medically induced; if it wasn’t for the medical attention, they would have already passed away. However, with active euthanasia (AE), physicians end peoples’ lives short before natural causes would otherwise kill them. This could occur when someone is suffering from a painful, incurable disease. There is no hope for that person, so he or she wishes to end the suffering instead of enduring it for an extended amount of time. A physician would then end that patient’s life by administering lethal

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