Physician Assisted Suicide

1457 Words 6 Pages
Physician assisted suicide is a highly controversial issue, and is one of the leading major public debates present today. There are many issues and moral complexities regarding whether physician assisted suicide should be legal. The viewpoints generated by both advocates and opponents of physical assisted suicide have great validity and support each cause very efficiently. However, based on the numerous valid facts and arguments, physical assisted suicide should be permitted in situations where the patient is diagnosed as terminally ill.
Assisted death, also known as physician assisted suicide, is when a physician aids in dying or euthanasia. According to Medicinenet.com, physician assisted suicide is the term used since 1996. This is defined
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The main ethical issues present are two principles. One is the patient’s autonomy, and the other is the doctor’s duty to relieve suffering. The patient’s autonomy is defined as the right of the patients to choose their medical path. Advocates for physician assisted suicide argue that under the liberty provision in the United States Constitution’s due process clause, a terminally ill patient should have the right to choose death (Howard Ball). Those opposed to physician assisted suicide argue that there are limits to autonomy. These opponents claim that when one is focusing on whether to end his or her life, they can be depressed or mentally not in the right frame of mind to make such a permanent, life or death decision. Opponents also argue that the patient could be depressed because of their medical condition, choosing assisted suicide not because of the pain they are enduring, but instead because of their mental state. Furthermore, they argue against the belief that physician assisted suicide is a fundamental right. For the doctor’s duty to relieve suffering in their patients, opponents cite the Hippocratic oath, which is the guideline for doctors to carry out the best possible care until the patient refuses it. Opponents believe assisted suicide violates this 200-year old text. However, advocates argue that if a doctor is willing to prescribe lethal medical to a dying patient, then it is morally right, and does not violate the Hippocratic oath. Lastly, another issue in legalizing assisted suicide is law and policy. In 1990, any forms of physician assisted suicide was a felony. New York and Washington were the first states to argue this (Howard Ball). Their viewpoint was based around the liberty phrase in the due process clause, which is a fundamental right, along with the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment (Howard

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