Physician Assisted Suicide: An Ethical Dilemma Essay example

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Ethical decisions are being made by terminally ill patients as they face death. Some are choosing to end life through PAS, physician-assisted suicide. Dr. Jack Kevorkian has been helping patients end life through his machines. The public opinion is the use of this machine is considered murder, but some have changed their thinking and created laws to make it legal for a physician to help a terminally ill patient die. Physician assisted suicide is a dignified way to end life.
Dr. Kevorkian, a pathologist, born in 1928, was known for his campaign for the terminally ill and their rights for assisted suicide. He built a machine from household parts, which included tools, toy parts, and other items easily found around the house or at the
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This mask would be placed over the patient’s nose and mouth. Dr. Kevorkian attached a handle so all his patients, no matter their disability, could pull the lever to initiate the gas to start. The drawback of using the carbon monoxide was it took longer for the patient to die. The patients were persuaded to take a drug which would relax them before they began using the Mercitron, because as a doctor he didn’t want them to experience pain. (Jackson).
The use of this machine brought about an ethical dilemma. Is it ethical for terminally ill patients to end their own lives with the assistance of their doctor? Many patients when faced with this decision do not wish to go through the suffering or loss of abilities for doing every day activities. They want to die before they become incapacitated and can die with dignity (Andre & Velasquez). The term euthanasia meaning mercy killing differs from physician assisted suicide because someone other than the patient administers the lethal dose or performs another act that causes death. In each of these situations it considered homicide (Marker). In comparison to Dr. Kevorkian’s machine or the now used method of overdosing on prescribed medication, it is not considered homicide. Patients who are suffering should be allowed to have access to this medication in deciding when to end their live. In some research the term has been changed to physician assisted dying or PAD (U of Washington).
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