Physician Asisted Suicide

Chapter 1: Biology

Part 1: Introduction to Biology

Biology is the study of living things and their natural processes. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) Biology is divided into multiple different branches but all are interrelated through their basic principles. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) These include branches like botany, zoology, morphology, physiology, and cell biology. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) Botany is the study of plants while zoology is a different branch that studies animals. Morphology is the study of the structure of certain organisms while physiology is the study of the function of these organisms. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) Cell Biology is the study of cells, this study includes the fundamental units of structure and function in living organisms. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) Cells were first observed in the 17th century, when the compound microscope was invented by Zacharias Janssen. (Kara Rogers Edna R. Green Susan Heyner Joshi) This research relates to the research question because when a patient asks their physician for a peaceful death to end their suffering, the doctor prescribes them a drug that they must take. Two of the drugs that can be used in the process of Physician-Assisted Suicide are Pentobarbital and Secobarbital. (Pam Belluck)

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Pentobarbital and Secobarbital are both barbiturate drugs, however, they have some differences. Pentobarbitual is a barbituate drug that slows the activity of your brain and nervous system. This drug is used as a sedative but aslo as an emergent treatment fr seizures, but when taken in large doses can cause death amongst individuals. (What is Pentobarbital?) Secobarbital, on the other hand, is a barbiturate drug used to treat insomnia and relieve anxiety prior to surgery. (What Does a Secobarbital Overdose Look Like?) Physician-Assisted Suicide is the process in which a physician prescribes a medication to a terminally ill patient at his or her own request that the patient can take whenever they choose to end their life. ( Timothy E. Quill and Bernard Sussman) The act of the physician providing the patient with the drug to end their life is what has caused so much controversy around the world today. The controversy mainly arrose because different religions had different veiws on this act.

Two main religions that had similar veiws are Christianity and Islam. These religions shared one ideal but one religion had stricter veiws and traditions that caused them to have their distinct veiw on Physician-Assisted Suicide. Chapter 2: Christianity Part 1: Standard Belief Christianity is still known today as the largest religion worldwide, containing over 2.3 billion people, and overall consisting of around 30% of Earth’s population. Christianity is the belief that, “”there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God; the Father, God; the Son, and God; the Holy Spirit”” (Beliefs of Christianity). Christians believe in Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, sinless life, and his resurrection. Jesus Christ was conceived by God in the form of the Holy Spirit and his mother, the Virgin Mary. (Beliefs of Christianity) Two main holidays that Christians celebrate, include Easter and Christmas. Christmas is celebrated as the birth of God’s son, Jesus, and Easter is celebrated as the day he rose from the dead. (Beliefs of Christianity)

The belief that the bible is a book of stories that contain many lessons within each story is another cultural anthropology. (John Drane) The Bible contains two sections the Old Testament and the New Testament, the difference between these two sections is that they were written at different time periods. (John Drane) The Old Testament overall is the foundation that establishes principles and prophecies that the New Testament will build upon this foundation with truths and fulfillment of these prophecies. (John Drane) Overall, Christians believe that all life is God-given and that any act that goes against this view is known as a great sin. As stated within the ten commandments, “”Thou shalt not kill”” (Bible) which is including all murders; even killing onesself. This is frowned upon within this religion, because belief is that, God’s son gave his life to relieve individuals of their sins. Therefore, all life is God-given and anyone that takes that god given life has committed a sin. However, one of the main beliefs of Christianity is that people who say aloud their sins will be forgiven if they believe that Jesus Christ is their savior and that God rose him from the dead. Part 2: Christian Views on Physician Assisted Suicide Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) is a form of Euthanasia that has caused controversy around the world since 1997. This controversy is mainly because of the different views and beliefs of individuals within society. Physician-Assisted Suicide is known to the Christians as a form of suicide, which is mainly prohibited, mostly until an individual, experiences this within their family or themselves.

Christians believe that all human life is sacred since everything that exists is believed to be created by God. God created humans with the power of free will, which includes the freedom to choose the path of darkness and turn against him as Eve did in the Garden of Eden. However, “”He does not force human beings to leave their sinful ways, but rather appeals to them to repent their sins, and forgives them when they do so.”” (D. Etienne de Villiers). Although, God takes care of the nonwealthy and ill and promises to always support them especially when someone is dying. (D. Etienne de Villiers) Overall, God, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit rule over the world through his unconditional love. (D. Etienne de Villiers) Human life entails a certain curiosity in how God could even create all this which keeps people at a certain distance, and to overall to stay cautious when people are making decisions about their self or another individual’s life because the human race will never fully understand the greatness of God. (D. Etienne de Villiers) This overall creates, “”a strong moral prejudice against the killing of human persons, including committing suicide or requesting medically assisted suicide or euthanasia.”” (D. Etienne de Villiers).

This does not mean that the moral prejufice against killing any human including ones self cannot be overridden by the subconscious. Although, it does mean that some thoughts have a greater amount of, moral weight than the strong moral prejudice against the killing of a human person including oneself.(D. Etienne de Villiers) Many people within this religion reject the idea of Physician-Assisted Suicide or voluntary euthanasia because murder is forbidden by the Sixth of the Ten Commandments. The main reason murder is prohibited is because it is the act of depriving an individual of what the rest of their life has to offer. But when an individual is already being deprived of their life due to having a terminal illness and wants to fasten the process, there is a belief in some individuals which changes the situation. Christians believe that God should determine the life of an individual and that if an individual truly believes this they also believe that it is wrong to use medicinal practices to extend life or shorten it because it can only be determined by God. (D. Etienne de Villiers) In 2016, Corinne Johns-Treat was 62 years old and had been suffering from stage IV cancer since she was 58 years old. Corinne was a Christian and believed throughout the process that God had a plan for what she should do and where she will end up.(Corinne Johns-Treat) Around 2015, her cancer had spread throughout her brain, chest, and neck. Even after, chemo, radiation, and resection of the tumor in her brain, it returned less than a year later. (Corinne Johns-Treat)

During the fight through cancer; she stated: Right now, my faith is probably stronger than it’s ever been because I’ve felt God’s presence through this experience. (Corinne Johns-Treat) Corinne was a Christian and never actually wanted to die, she even said that If I wanted to end my life, I could have declined surgery in 2012. Or refused the chemo and radiation treatments in 2015. (Corinne Johns-Treat) Even though she wanted to live she also did not want her family to watch her suffer throughout her final days. Corinne’s certain case as a Christian woman she felt that she was not going against God; but that God had given her this alternative and an overall easy way to go. (Corinne Johns-Treat) So in conclusion, Christians believe that God gave life and individuals should not take it away or anyone else’s away because it is stated in the 6th commandment. But also, the belief that God put people on this earth to have free will which means that they are able to go against him and as long as they repent sins and know he is their savior he will forgive them. This relates to the research question because this is one of the relgions that have views on Physician Assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Chapter 3: Islam Part 1: Standard Belief Islam is the second largest religion in the world coming after Christianity. This is a monotheistic religion and religious practice that developed in the Middle East in the 7th century. (Patheos) Islam was founded on the teachings of the Prophet, Muhammad, as an expression of surrender to the will of the all-knowing god Allah. (Patheos)

There are over 1.8 billion people that practice this religion worldwide. Islam is a religion that has very strict views that are highly important to the individuals that practice this religion. (Islamic Beliefs) Within this religion, individuals, in order to be considered as Muslim, the individual must be able to recite a statement of faith known as the Shahada (Islamic Beliefs). This statement of faith states that “”There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Prophet”” (Islamic Beliefs). Individuals who practice this Islamic religion are known as Muslims and believe in one all-knowing god who they call Allah. (Islamic Beliefs) This is the Muslim name for God because it is Arabic for “”The (al) God (lah). (Islamic Beliefs) Overall, Muslims believe that Muhammad was Allah’s chief servant and messenger and that Allah is the all-powerful Creator of a perfect, ordered universe (Islamic Beliefs).

Muslims and followers of Islamic religion believe that nothing can happen without Allah’s permission but overall humans have free will. (Islam) There are a few difference amongst the religions that worship a God, such as Christians and Catholics for example, who practice their religions in churches but Muslims practice their religions in Mosques. (Islam) Every religion not only has places they practice their religion but also a holy text that they follow during worship. Islam uses the Quran as the holy text that they use when practicing their religion. (Islam) Followers of this religion practicing this religion by attending worship in a mosque, praying to Allah, and reciting the Quran. (Islam) There are overall three main beliefs within this religion. The first is the belief that Allah is The ONLY Creator, Provider, and The Commander, the second is that Allah is the ONLY God who should be worshipped, and the last basic belief is that Allah Is Perfect and His Names and Attributes are Perfect according to what Allah tells us about Himself in the Quran. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) In the sight of the Muslim God, Allah, all people are created equal and there is no human superior over another for any reason except worthiness. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) Within this religion, Muslims are not allowed to discriminate upon an individual but must respect the dignity of all people no matter what race or religion. (Islam Beliefs and Practices)

Part 2: How Beliefs relates to Euthanasia

Under the supervision of Allah the individuals worshiping him cannot be judged or judge others on characteristics. Belief is that these individuals had no choice over their characteristics such as color, gender, size, and race. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) Islam as a whole teaches individuals of this religion that diversity amongst humans is nothing more than a sign of the powerfulness of Allah and the beauty of his creation. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) Different from other religions, Islam has no priests or holy men but only people who are knowledgeable of this religious practice and religion as a whole. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) These knowledgeable people have only one job and that is to truthfully teach others about Allah. (Islam Beliefs and Practices) Euthanasia is the act in which a physician directly gives a medication to a patient to end their lives, whereas Physician-Assisted Suicide is the act in which the physician just provides the patient with the materials to end their own life. Within the research question the other religions views on Physician Assisted Suicide for terminally ill patients is Islam. In Islam, Muslims are against both of these acts of death. (Religions – Islam: Euthanasia, assisted dying, medical ethics and suicide) The individuals that practice this religion believe that all human life is sacred because it is given by Allah and that no one but Allah can decide when it was an individual time to die. (Religions – Islam: Euthanasia, assisted dying, medical ethics and suicide)

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Physician Asisted Suicide. (2019, Jul 01). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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