Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1007 words - 4 pages

Is the role of a medical professional to ensure the well-being of
their patients, or to assist them in ending their lives? Many people may believe that physicians would never perform the latter, but in actuality one practice does so. Physician assisted suicide is the intentional ending of one’s life brought on by lethal substances prescribed by a doctor. In the majority of cases, the patient is terminally ill and simply does not desire to live any longer. Their physician provides the medication necessary to end their life. Many supporters aver that this practice is merely an act of compassion as terminally ill persons may suffer extreme pain that eradicates any will to live. They also assert that the decision to die is of the patient’s rights. Undoubtedly, these adherents have not evaluated the copious reasons for opposing this atrocious practice, including that it is medically unethical, it has a great chance of being abused, and a severely ill patient may not be in any position to make decisions pertaining to their death.
Physician-assisted suicide directly contradicts medical ethics. The practice violates the Hippocratic Oath, which every physician is required to take after receiving their degree in medicine (Messerli 3). The vow emphasizes that doctors should never cause any harm (Messerli 3). It is quite clear how this practice is in direct contrast to this principle that a physician’s job is to improve the health of the patient, not to cause detriment to them. Moreover, the primary purpose of the oath is to assure the public that a physician’s job is to help them, not to harm them, and assisted suicides accomplish just the opposite (Morrow 2). Also, the oath states, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan” (Greek Medicine… 2). Assisted suicide requires the administration of deadly medications, which completely conflicts with this standard. According to Joe Messerli, “Assisting in suicides would be a violation of that oath, and it would lead to a weakening of doctor-patient trust” (3). If doctors violate the oath, especially the above stated portions, patients may be inclined to question what other standards of medicine are being breached. Assisted suicides contravene medical ethics, as evidenced by the multiple violations of the Hippocratic Oath.
Furthermore, the practice of assisted suicide has a significant possibility of being abused. Assisted suicides are designed to allow those who are seriously ill and suffer from extreme pain to easily end their lives (Braddock and Tenelli 1). Those who lack support from members of their family or friends may feel worthless and hence may desire to end their lives (Pretzer 2). If the patient has no loved ones to confide to and receive support from, they may feel as if no one cares and therefore no reason to live exists. Since assisted suicides are unregulated, doctors may allow patients wishing to die for subordinate reasons, such as the one previously...

Find Another Essay On Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1982 words - 8 pages injection, drug overdose, or by the withdrawal of life support" (Euthanasia). When Euthanasia is performed or assisted by a Physician, it is known as Physician Assisted Suicide. Not only does Physician Assisted Suicide violate God's law, but in almost all countries in the world, it violates government laws. When discussing Physician Assisted Suicide, one should pay close attention to the views of the Catholic Church. It is important to look

Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1404 words - 6 pages reach her brain. The doctors have tried to keep Christina’s pain under control, but with all the medicine the slightest touch feels like razor blades scraping her skin. Being a terminal patient is rather difficult to come to terms with, leaving unpaid bills behind, losing bodily control, and having family watch them die a slow painful death. Incidentally Christiana does not live in one of the four states that offer Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician Assisted Suicide

843 words - 4 pages Assisted suicide, by definition, is suicide facilitated by another person, especially a physician, in order to end the life of a patient suffering from an incurable or life-threatening illness. Ever since its first use in the 1970s, physician assisted suicide has been a topic of much controversy in the modern world. Issues surrounding the life or death of a person come with many sensitive areas of concern, including financial, legal, ethical

Physician Assisted Suicide

2091 words - 9 pages Fergus Ingham Assisted Suicide A controversial human rights issue in modern society is the right to die, an issue that has much to do with the way that human beings relate to society at large, the notion that a man has ownership of their own body, and the obligations set forth in the Hippocratic oath and medical ethics. Physician assisted suicide, or the right to die as those in the pro-assisted suicide movement call it, divides two very

Physician Assisted Suicide - 1295 words

1295 words - 5 pages Assisted Suicide Physician assisted suicide, also known as right to die has become a hot button issue within the last twenty years. The reason behind the interest is because in the “land of the free” known as America, that promotes independence and personal rights; it seems quite regressive to many to deny a person their right to die. After the 1997 Supreme Court decision which declined to nationally recognize assisted suicide, Chief Justice

Physician Assisted Suicide - 800 words

800 words - 3 pages Should physicians be able to assist patients who are terminally ill end their lives? Physician assisted suicide is a very controversial subject. In today’s society, people who commit suicide are known as “insane,” a person who takes prescription pills is known as a “drug addict” or “criminal.” However, when a doctor honors a patient’s request for a lethal dose of medicine, (which the patient will inject themselves) to end their life in peace

Physician Assisted Suicide - 1108 words

1108 words - 4 pages The practice of assisted suicide is not a modern phenomenon. In ancient Greece, the government gave hemlock to those who wanted it. William Shakespeare memorialized the Roman practice in Julius Caesar by depicting Brutus running into the sword held by Strato (Egendorf). While physician assisted suicide is not a new concept the moral debate surrounding euthanasia in America has certainly been brought to the forefront in the last thirty years with

Physician Assisted Suicide - 2568 words

2568 words - 10 pages this paper will support my feelings on this subject. What is Physician assisted suicide? Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is also called Physician aid-in-death (PAD) is a practice that a physician gives competent, terminally ill patients the means of getting and giving themselves a deadly dose of medications. The first thing the patient has to do is talk to their physician to see if they participate in this type of act. Then after they figure

Physician Assisted Suicide - 1798 words

1798 words - 8 pages -Assisted Suicide PAS is highly contentious because it induces conflict of several moral and ethical questions such as who is the true director of our lives. Is suicide an individual choice and should the highest priority to humans be alleviating pain or do we suffer for a purpose? Is suicide a purely individual choice? Having analyzed and even experience the effects of physician assisted suicide, I promote and fully support its legality and provisions

Physician Assisted Suicide - 1122 words

1122 words - 5 pages would reach her brain. The doctors have tried to keep Christina’s pain under control, but with all the medicine the slightest touch feels like razor blades scraping her skin. Being a terminal patient is rather difficult to come to terms with, leaving unpaid bills behind, losing bodily control, and having family watch them die a slow painful death. Incidentally Christiana does not live in one of the four states that offer Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician-Assisted Suicide

2223 words - 9 pages Physician-Assisted Suicide In today's society, a very controversial issue is physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Many people feel that it is wrong for people, regardless of their health situation, to ask their doctor or attendant to end their life. Others feel it is their right to be able to choose how and when they die. When a doctor is asked to help a patient to their death, they have certain responsibilities

Similar Essays

Physician Assisted Suicide Essay 641 Words

641 words - 3 pages ‘incurable’. Pulling into the hospital parting lot, you began to slide out of your car and notice he had been waiting in the lobby to take you into the family conference room, where you knew that every serious situation was discussed. Your mother’s doctor told you about your mothers questioning in physician-assisted suicide. If this was your situation, would you encourage your mother to go through with the physician-assisted suicide, otherwise know as

Legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

1424 words - 6 pages In current society, legalizing physician assisted suicide is a prevalent argument. In 1997, the Supreme Court recognized no federal constitutional right to physician assisted suicide (Harned 1) , which defines suicide as one receiving help from a physician by means of a lethal dosage (Pearson 1), leaving it up to state legislatures to legalize such practice if desired. Only Oregon and Washington have since legalized physician assisted

Physician Assisted Suicide Essay 624 Words

624 words - 2 pages Advances in medical technology have produced ethical dilemmas that people at any other time have confronted. The most imperative is, "how far do we go to save lives?" Today, compassion and common sense have been taken over by machines and technology. More than ever, there is an urge to change the rules.Legalizing physician-assisted suicide would create a "slippery-slope" to euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as the practice of terminating the

Physician Assisted Suicide Essay 1559 Words

1559 words - 6 pages decades, and this article will contain the argument that why should the physician-assisted suicide along with its’ legitimate and voluntarily practice should be justified from the perspective of the autonomy of the patients and it’s incununous to the society under current circumstances. Definition of physician-assisted suicide It’s hard to recognize the outcome and have an objective view about certain issue without knowing what is its’ actual