Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Physician Assisted Suicide is the process in which physicians make available, information or medication that makes the patient or aware of the most easily and available means for taking their lives. This can apply where the patient is administered at medication that aids in taking their life. This is also called Euthanasia where it can be passive or active. Life-supporting therapy is not administered to the patient during passive euthanasia, and this mainly results in death. Where an intervention is done by the physician with the intention of ending the patient’s life, this is regarded to as active. The main issue that applies in such circumstances is the patients will where he has a right to take his life which in his opinion is the best and proper thing to do. The doctors are used to control the means by administering drugs.
However, if a person is suffering and in the process of dying, this can be argued as a good reason to use Physician Assisted Suicide if the patient has a mental capacity for making that choice. PAS is, therefore, a process that is gaining momentum and recognition among many as a way to end life in an easy way but is also receiving a lot of resistance at the same time as it poses an ethical dilemma. PAS presents ethical dilemmas for the medical and societal values that are tied to the process. This is by the process of the doctor’s involvement in ending patient’s life to the choice the patient makes in deciding to
end his life.
Physician assisted suicide is used as it allows for autonomy, and dignity, avoids the fear of excruciating pain and other financial problems arise due to medical bills, and also the loss of abilities to enjoy activities that make life worth are some of the concerns. Many individuals fear the idea of living a miserable life than death itself. I think that many adopt this process as a way to have a death that is merciful. However, there are no laws in the U.S that allow for mercy killing. The physicians or nurses that are involved in the PAS have their decision mainly based on the situation that the patient is in and in most cases it is carried out to alleviate the suffering and therefore considering it as an ethical process. Fidelity is also another issue in which the physician is obligated to act as per his patient’s will. Some of the physicians prescribe for opiate drugs that can lead to near death by slowing down the rate of breathing while others stop the breathing.
These are therefore used to hasten the death in cases that are extreme. In such cases to ease death when morphine cannot be enough anesthesia is administered. This is meant to relieve the patient of excruciating pain. By choosing to end life the patient is also in consideration of the family left behind to cater for the large medical bill that is accrued with the time spent using the hospital resources and services. This considers the fact that the patient will at a point die, leaving behind expenses that will lead to an ultimate financial loss for the family.
Moral reasons are the most applicable in the resistance of the PAS. However in the culture at such a time it is inevitable to decline assisted suicide where this was preceded by abortion. This makes it the society will decide which life is worth taking care of or not making it an abandoning culture. The process of PAS can be viewed as ethical as the wishes of the patient are respected where he is relieved of the emotional, physical as well as spiritual pain. It is also unethical where it’s an alteration to nature’s course where the physician plays with God by helping terminate a process that is viewed to be natural. Religions condemn Physician Assisted Suicide as life is assumed to be gifted from God. The sacred nature of life is always in question every time there is excruciating pain in an individual that is incurable but is not in the hands of other people to decide on the life of another. Feelings of guilt, as well as a complicated and prolonged bereavement process, are experienced by the survivor who participates in such. However, people believe that no life is worth living when undergoing burdensome treatment with a serious disability as well as suffering.
In the case of Brittany Maynard, she chose to end her life by way of Physician Assisted Suicide as it seemed appropriate to her as she was in the stage four brain cancer. This way she felt she would die with dignity and end her long agony and suffering. Maynard had the knowledge as from her doctors about her condition in which she had six months to live and for her death by cancer was a terrible way to die and having to die by PAS was less terrifying. She had been experiencing suffering where she had frequent and long seizures, neck and head pains as well as stroke-like symptoms. This clearly signified that she was headed for death. However, with her choice, there were also many critics mainly from religious organizations which disapproved of her acts by stating that one should live to the fullest until the moment called by God. They stated that her decision in the right to die was hastened by despair and aided by a death culture in which signifies the help of the doctors. However, in this case, her right to die was to ease her suffering from cancer that was killing her slowly and painfully.
Physician Assisted Suicide is an ethical matter as the patient’s right to death is on the patient and aided by the doctor instead of it being a natural process. Physician Assisted Suicide can be argued as appropriate in the case of patients that have terminal illnesses are suffering and headed for death as per the doctor’s opinion. By this process, the patients can exit life with autonomy and dignity in which they do not suffer the pains related to their illness. The doctor’s help in this as from the patient’s situation, the condition cannot be survived. In this case, the patent is made the direct agent in deciding the course to take in his demise. However, it is also non-ethical as it involves taking a life which should be considered as sacred and a natural process of life.
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