Differences Between Euthanasia And Physician Assisted Suicide

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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 …show more content…
Once a state legalizes the law, physicians either refuse aid to patients who are set on killing themselves, or violate their professions code of ethics. A physician has a role of being a healer and choosing to participate in PAS would go against 2,000 years of medical ethics, making it hard to control and pose risks to the profession (Lagay, 2003). Risks such as having federal narcotic licenses suspended or revoked; therefore creating problems for physicians who prescribe narcotics for management of end of life pain (Lagay, 2003). However, physicians that do participate claim their participation comes from “helping a patient who is determined to end his or her life prevents a greater harm than it causes,” (Lagay, 2003). And some believe that the physical and mental anguish that a patient would not recover from does not violate the spirit or goals of medical ethics when a patient requests the service (Lagay,

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