Essay Physician-Assisted Suicide

2470 Words Jul 30th, 2013 10 Pages
Physician-Assisted Suicide
Imagine a frail elderly woman laying in the nursing home in pain. This woman is 80 years old and has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and her heart cannot withstand treatment via radiation or chemotherapy. She has less than six months to live. Day in and day out you pass her room and hear her crying out from the immense pain. The pain medications are no longer working. She’s tired of fighting, tired of hurting, and tired of waiting to die. After consideration and discussions with her family she has decided to ask the doctor to help and end her life. The doctor feels remorse for the elderly lady and wants to help but cannot decide if it is the ethical thing to do because he knows that what he’s
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Unfortunately, there are consequences because physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states. As a society we make decisions upon what is right or wrong depending on the legal standpoint opposed to respecting the desires of the person in which the situation pertains to. When taking all the parts of physician-assisted suicide in to consideration, people still will not see eye to eye. Some may see it as ok, while others will always see it as wrong. This is where relativism comes in. According to Mosser (p.28), “Relativism is the idea that one’s beliefs and values are understood in terms of one’s society, culture, or even one’s own individual values” and “Rather than insisting that there are moral absolutes, moral claims must be interpreted in terms of how they reflect a person’s viewpoint; moral claims are then said to be “right in a given culture” or “wrong for a given society”” (Mosser, 2010). When reading the definition of relativism, I feel it fits the argument on whether or not it is ok for doctors to perform physician-assisted suicide. Regardless of the illness or the pain or suffering someone is facing; many people would argue it is morally wrong for a doctor to willingly end someone’s life. But, relativist would say that physician-assisted suicide is right for those who agree with it and wrong for those who do not. Most of the time when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they live the rest of their lives in pain and either in hospice

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