physician’s involvement in a patient’s death is very controversial and complex.
The topic is so sensitive, that various terms and purposes are used to describe
this action. The terms associated with a physician’s assistance in willing
patients to die include physician assisted suicide also known as
“physician-assistance in death” and Euthanasia. It strikes me that in
our society euthanasia is still legal in some states despite the controversy
against the issue. One of the most notable cases has been Terry Schiavo. A
women left in a vegetated state for 15 years, until the machine keeping her
alive was disconnected through a court order dispute between her husband and
parents. In America, both the old and young should try everything possible to
live. The logic of assisted suicide leads to euthanasia because if “compassion”
demands that some patients be helped to kill themselves, it makes little sense
to claim that only those who are capable of self-administering the deadly drugs
be given this option.
assisted suicide and euthanasia is not a new practice because human suffering
has always existed. According to a recent study, 57% of physicians practicing
today have received a request for physician-assisted suicide in some form or
another (Endlink, 2004). According to medical ethics , Physician assisted
suicide is defined as “the physician lets the patient die by refraining
from interventions which would be useless in any case, in accordance with the
wishes of the patient.” On the other hand, Euthanasia is active voluntary:
“the physician intentionally kills the patient in accordance with the
wishes of the patient, in a relatively quick and painless way for reasons of
mercy.”(University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013) Both of these procedures have
similar goals, but they differ in whether or not the physician participates in
the action that finally ends life.
personally disagree physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. Physicians
should be bound by oath to preserve life, no matter what the patient desires.
If we enable physicians to assist willing patients to die, it would cause major
problems. Discrimination and abuse will flourish, those who are most vulnerable
to abuse will be the elderly, poor, and the uneducated. Those who are elderly
will most likely be victims of abuse and error because they usually lack family
members and are least empowered to make decisions. The poor don’t have the
funds to afford medicine, treatment, and healthcare. Those who are least
educated will lack understanding of the
sickness they suffer from. For example, a patient can be told they have a
disease that is life- threatening, when in reality they have a chance to
survive. The lack of knowledge can influence a choice to assisted suicide.
argue that physician assisted suicide and euthanasia is not a crime because the
victim is a willing participant. The physician is just an intermediate an
helping the patient escape suffering and illness in a painless and swift
manner. Patients can also die with dignity, instead of having illness weaken
them and reduce them to a vegetative state. Most patients who choose a
physician’s assistance to die are suffering with life-threatening illnesses
that have no remedy. Certain types of diseases cause slow agonizing deaths in
which the patient can experiences chronic brain damage causing them to lose
basic motor skills. Urine, feces, odor, and other indignities have to be
attended by family members and nurses. With physician assisted suicide and
euthanasia, the patient can say proper farewells, reducing pain and anguish
families usually experience when a member passes away and the avoid indignities
associated with chronic illnesses.
physician assisted suicide and euthanasia can reduce healthcare cost by
lowering insurance and preserving estate. According to a source, premiums in
healthcare cost between 50,000 and 100,000 to keep patients in life support.
(BalancePolitics, 2013) That’s funds patients and their families are paying for
minimal chances of the patient surviving. If the patient wishes to pass away,
the funds can be diverted to patients who can be saved or it can be used to
provide family members with inheritance. A scholarly article suggest, “As
Medicare, Medicare, and other government programs accelerate the United States
towards bankruptcy, anything that causes a decrease in total costs must be a
weighing out the different perspectives of
allowing physicians to assist patients to die in order to end their pain
or disability you a get deeper appreciation of the critical issue under review.
Do the reasons why the action should remain illegal outnumber the benefits it
would bring if legalized? The evidence that physician assistance suicide causes
more harm than good is clear. Citizen and policy maker needs to take a stand
and unite against physician assisted suicide. A federal legislation reform
banning such unethical acts should be implemented. Physicians have the moral
and professional responsibility to always care, never kill.
Physician-Assisted Suicide. (n.d.). Retrieved from EndLink website:
Should an incurably-ill
patient be able to commit physician-assisted suicide. (n.d.).
of Illinois at Chicago. (n.d.). Retrieved from