Physician assisted suicide should be a right given to all people who are suffering from a painful, degenerative, or deadly condition. Anyone who might never enjoy the luxuries of living a happy and healthy life again. Though several ongoing debates are against physician-assisted suicide, ethicists are still not the one who is responsible to make this decision. Patients have the right to free will and human dignity that gives them the right to choose physician assisted suicide. Being able to have this choice allows the patient to maintain some control over their devastating situation.
Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal? Dion O. Hales SOC120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility Prof. Theodore Framan June 22, 2012 Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal? While killing yourself is harder than having someone do it for you is that killing yourself requires firmer resolve, Should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legal? Because a patient's last will and last testament should be honored, a competent patient's request to terminate life-sustaining treatment, and it is our moral right to prevent a person from suffering if they suffer from a disease we cannot cure. First, Should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legal?
Furthermore, euthanasia is unnecessary in the presence of palliated care. Palliated care ensures proper and intensive care of patients. It seems like a better option of dealing with the illnesses of patients as compared to losing complete hope on recovery and life. Euthanasia is a quick, painless end to life; whereas palliated care is one that can relieve pain. Executing euthanasia undermines the commitment of doctors and nurses, defeating doctors’ and nurses’ purposes of saving lives.
If a person is suffering in unbearable pain and cannot enjoy life then euthanasia would be the best option to help that person die a dignified and peaceful death, rather than a period of lost dignity and prolonged suffering. Current laws state that active euthanasia is illegal in most of the country. Patients can refuse medical treatment and receive pain management, even if the patient’s choices hasten their death. Futile or burdensome treatments, such as life support machines, may be withdrawn under specific circumstances. Under federal and some state laws medical facilities need consent from patients or, in the event of incompetency of the patient, informed consent of the legal surrogate.
Who’s right is it to die? Should the U.S. Supreme Court rule that the Constitution not guarantee the right for physician-assisted suicides or should the decision be left to be made by individual states? The end-of-life movement is much more complicated than the polarized debate over Kevorkian or issues on “Who’s right it is.” In fact some feel that as a society we should condemn the ending of one’s life as well as assisted suicides by a doctor. Others agree that only in exceptional cases interventions are appropriate so long as all elements of treatment have been tried. Treatments such as medications, surgical procedures, psychotherapy and in some instances spiritual guidance and so on.
When one withholds the treatment needed for one to survive this is passive euthanasia. This would be keeping respirators away, treatments that are not opposed by the legal system, and procedures. Active euthanasia is purposely bringing death to someone else by certain actions taken (Gorman). In the U.S. individuals have been given the right to make an Advance Directive that gives the person the right as one’s voice when they become unable to make medical decisions. This Directive is assigned to someone they can put trust into so they would be able to know be the persons voice in making decisions (Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorney).Voluntary euthanasia takes place when a person makes the choice to end one’s life; non-voluntary euthanasia takes place when a person has not asked or consented to death.
Although euthanasia to some may seem as a form of murder, it should not be considered murder as it is done in for the alleged benefit of the human being. Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless matter for people who are suffering a terminal illness. Murder on the other hand is the unlawful killing of a human being with a desire to inflict pain, suffering, or death out of impulse or for no reason at all. For some people euthanasia is considered to be morally wrong, but that all depends on a persons personal beliefs but it is not the same as murder as it takes into consideration the person who is suffering and is done with their consent or their families. There are many different forms of euthanasia and because of these different forms, euthanasia has caused many controversies.
However, by taking a relativist approach to euthanasia, you would be potentially killing someone and ending their future life just because at that moment they chose not to live. Although taking a relativist approach towards euthanasia could possibly allow someone to end their life and their future, the approach gives people who do not want to live their life as it is the option to end it on their own terms and gives them the freedom to choose. It is best not to take a relativist approach to euthanasia as by someone choosing to die and ending their life it could also affect people who are related or involved with that person and might cause guilt or/and even regret to them which is a depressing outcome for all, for example in the Diane Pretty case Diane wanted to die and her husband was offering to put her out of her misery but if he was allowed to due to Diane choosing to die then he might feel some guilt and regret after killing her and realise he made a mistake or misses he wife. On the other hand, relatives to a person who wants to die might support that decision as they see that life will be too hard if living with a serious condition and might not want to
Eventually some people and their families might be forced to put financial concerns above the needs of a loved one. Doctors or insurance companies could try to convince some people to opt for assisted suicide rather than the more expensive treatment. This would be an injustice to all humankind. A history professor at San Francisco State University argued that assisted suicide would lead to inequities and would not be limited to those with a terminal illness. “Given the way the U.S. healthcare system is getting increasingly unjust and even savage, I don't think this system could be trusted to implement such a system equitably, or confine it to people who are immediately terminally ill"(Mohler).
It is important to note that passive euthanasia is not the same as making a mistake in a patient’s care that leads to his or her death. Rather, passive euthanasia requires that a doctor knowingly refrain from preventing a patient’s death. However, Gay-Williams argues that there is no such thing as passive euthanasia, saying that in these cases, the patient’s death is not the intended consequence, but rather a side-effect. The intention, he claims, is to prevent unnecessary burdens that would accompany any extension on the patient’s life, such as financial and emotional costs on the patient and his or her family. In his paper “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia,” Gay-Williams makes three main arguments against the practice.