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Physician Assisted Suicide - Research Paper Example

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The debate on ethics of physician-assisted suicide continues in the world of medicine and the society. Some argue that it is ethically accepted. They tend to argue on the grounds that assisted suicide in a rational choice for a dying patient who is choosing to escapes from painful suffering towards the end of life (Kluge, 2000). Moreover, the work of a physician to alleviate suffering sometime approves assisted suicide. These arguments are based on justice, respect for individual autonomy, compassion, honesty and transparency, and on individuals liberty against state interest.
Based on justice to patients, those who favor assisted suicide argue that justice require that physicians “treat like cases alike”. They reason that, competent, terminally sick patients have the legal right to resist treatment that may have an impact of prolonging their lives while they continue to suffer the painful experience. For those patients who are suffering but are autonomous of life support, such as dialysis or respirators, resisting treatment will however not suffice to quicken death. For this reason, to treat these patients fairly, physicians should be allowed to perform assisted death, as this may be the best option to hasten death.
Proponents of the physicians assisted suicide also base their argument on respect for autonomy. It is argued that the decision about circumstances and time of death is personal. For this reason, any individual should have the right to determine when he or she is to die. Therefore, competent people should be given the right to decide the manner and timing of death. Proponents also base their argument for assisted death on compassion. They argue that suffering is more than just pain; there are other existential, physical, social and psychological burden such as lose of autonomy, sense of self, and functional capacities which certain patients feel deprived of their dignity (McDougall& Gorman, 2008). For instance, a patient may be suffering from a disease, which requires total dependence on someone to do certain things such as going to the toilet, moving out of the house or even eating. The overreliance on assistance has a lot of psychological, social effects lowering dignity of patients. It is also not always easy to relieve suffering. It is for this reason that assisted suicide may be a compassionate to abating suffering. The ethical issue is based on honesty and ...Show more
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Summary

The debate about physician-assisted suicide is not about to die soon. This is so because it revolves around people’s lives. It takes place when a physician facilitates death of a patient by prescribing the necessary means or vital information that enables the patient to carry out the life-ending act…
Physician Assisted Suicide
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