Essay on Euthanasia Practice

1301 Words 6 Pages
Medicine has had a vital role in human society since the beginning of civilization. Physicians, under the famous Hippocratic Oath, have a legal and moral duty to preserve life and relieve the suffering of patients. A controversial practice known as euthanasia has continuously challenged the physician’s role in society by pitting the duties of life preservation and relief of suffering against one another. Euthanasia, also known as physician-assisted suicide, is the deliberate action of ending a person’s life with the intention of relieving uncontrollable suffering. The controversy of euthanasia relies on the fact that it directly opposes the Hippocratic Oath which states "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I …show more content…
The thought of staying every day at a hospital and being fed artificially via gastronomic tubes is a cause for severe depression in many patients. In these situations patients have no hopes of betterment and most of them seek a dignified death. A scenario depicting the morality of euthanasia is the case of Sue Rodriguez, a mother in her early thirties who died slowly of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Rodriguez begged the courts to allow a doctor to assist her in choosing the moment of death. The courts denied this request, causing Rodriguez to live with the thought that her muscles would slowly waste away until one day she would die of asphyxiation. Rodriguez later peacefully died with the help of a doctor that secretly broke the law to help her. Although Rodriguez had a good reason to seek her own death, the issue here lies in the fact that assisting Rodriguez in euthanasia is incompatible with the healing goals of medicine. The Hippocrates oath itself suggests that a physician should refuse to perform euthanasia. However, the oath also suggests that it is a doctor’s duty to relieve pain. One way to solve this paradox is by using more aggressive care measures in hospitals, as stated in the AMA code or Moral Ethics 1994(v) Report (59). Better hospital care can alleviate the physical and emotional suffering that the dying patient experiences. Therefore, instead of using euthanasia as a permanent pain pill, physicians should seek to provide the best…

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