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Physician assisted suicide - Research Paper Example

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Physician assisted suicide

Moreover, the analysis will be specifically concentric on attempting to answer whether or not physician-assisted suicide is permissible within the bioethical interpretation of maximizing the good to the patient. This is of course a tricky subject and one that bioethicists have continued to argue about for a great deal of time. In such a way, it is not the intent of this author to arrogantly state that a simple seven-page research analysis can answer the question once and for all; however, it is the belief of this student that seeking to weigh the determinants of physician-assisted suicide as compared to their drawbacks will help the reader to come to a more informed interpretation of bioethics and the practice itself. Firstly, with regards to the ethics of physician-assisted suicide, this is one particular ethical situation that provides extreme difficulty concerning what is the best path to choose. For instance, on the one hand, the physician is charged by oath, as a result of the Hippocratic Oath, to seek uphold life and avoid giving any harmful or toxic substances to the patient under his/her charge stop by the same token, the position is also charged to seek to ameliorate suffering at each and every juncture.1 Within such an understanding, the reader can come to full appreciation for how these conflicting responsibilities make the decision of the physician, with respect to aiding in suicide of the patient or not, an extraordinarily complex one. Secondly, with regards to the legalities of physician-assisted suicide, little has changed with respect to the way in which jurisdictions within the United States view and understand this practice. Ultimately, due to the fact that there is no level of differentiation between murder/manslaughter and the means by which a physician can seek to aid a patient and a painless transition between life and death, the broad majority of states and jurisdictions have continued to prosecute any and all doctors who engage in such a practice. Naturally, one of the most recognizable of these doctors was that of Dr. Jack Kevorkian; also referred to as “Dr. Death”.2 Whereas the practice has been legalized in many parts of Western Europe and elsewhere, it remains by and large prosecutable and ultimately illegal and dangerous for the physician who would seek to engage in it. Although there does not appear to be any current growth with regards to a societal appreciation and liberalization with regards to physician-assisted suicide, it must be noted that a gradual level of understanding has recently been engaged with regards to certain terminally ill patients choosing to end their lives with dignity as opposed to continuing a fruitless and hopeless struggle against of the seas that will ultimately destroy any and all quality of life prior to taking their own life in the final stages. As a means of understanding the ongoing debate that exists with regards to physician-assisted suicide, it is not only necessary to understand and appreciate the level to which the Hippocratic Oath, briefly discussed previously in this analysis, impacts ...Show more


One of the topics that has defined medical ethics within the past several decades is with regards to what is become known as physician assisted suicide. Whereas suicide has been an alternative individuals to into their lives since the dawn of human history, physician-assisted suicide is something of a new paradigm that allows for individuals who are otherwise terminally ill or have little hope of surviving a particular disease or illness to terminate their lives in what has been deemed as a dignified manner…
Author : webervernie
Physician assisted suicide essay example
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