Should Physician Assisted Suicide be Allowed for Terminally Ill Patients?

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The United States is a nation that is founded on the rights of freedom and liberty, giving each citizen the right to make their own decisions. This freedom includes having a decision on oner’s life, including medical care. The ongoing struggle between those who are in favor, and those who oppose this subject have ravaged the medical field, making everyone question what is morally and ethically right. Physician assisted suicide is neither morally nor ethically acceptable in any circumstance, itr’s a direct violation to the doctorr’s Hippocratic Oath, and had legal consequences that could decrease the professionalism of physicians.

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First therer’s a moral issue. Morality usually concerns how our choices bear on the immanent goods of human persons, such as life and health, friendships, etc. We have to care of every person, and help them preserve their goods. Since these goods are the aspects of the person itself, to act against any of the goods, is to act against the person themself, US physicians remain sharply divided on assisted suicide because of morals and ethic based principles (Gopal). Having the choice to kill a human, even to prevent suffering, is contrary to the appreciation for the person themself, in terms of killing others and killing oneself. It doesnt mean that we should take all measure to preserve someoner’s life, but help relieve them of their pain and keep them there until the end of their life, the physicians constitutive professional role is to attend to those who are sick and debilitated, seeking to preserve the measure of health that can be preserved(ORounce). It isnt intentionally right to destroy the person in order to remove the pain and the suffering, A personr’s sense of self-worth is profoundly affected by the views of other people in their lives, and so they would be harmed by the practice of PAS, leading many to depression and requesting suicide because of the deference to others. Thus, out of compassion and care for the patients who are terminally ill, PAS should remain illegal.

Not only is it morally wrong but it goes against the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath. By promoting physician assisted suicide, the doctors invalidate their pledges to be the best healers that they could possibly be. This ruins their credibility and reputation as physicians. The opposition states that it would be more harmful to the patient to suffer the pain and agony of terminal illness than for the doctor to assist them with their deaths, If a patient requests PAS/E then the physician should take this as an opportunity to explore the sufferings and fears of the patient to discuss their options (Boudreau). Hippocrates intended for the doctors to heal their patients, not to kill them, and also stated that no lethal drugs or methods of assisted suicide should ever be practiced. Ignoring these principles would go against the Hippocratic Oath, which would degrade the physicians character, There is a clear distinction between a physician allowing a terminally ill person to decline treatment and to die in the natural course of his or her terminal illness, on one hand, and a physician prescribing PAS/PAD, on the other (Gopal). There have been doctors who have experiences the embarrassment of being proven wrong in their diagnosis. To make euthanasia a option would reduce the possibility of having those chances of recoveries.

Physician assisted suicide has been brought to the attention of the supreme court several times. It has only become legal in four of the fifty states in the US, PAS has become a growing dissatisfaction with medical professions, and PAS is only legal in four states: Oregon, Montana, Washington, and Vermont (Gopal). When these states were surveyed on their PAS rate, and the majority of patients who request PAS are depressed. The relationship between the patient and the physician are asymmetric, with the information, power, and safety on the physicians side. If PAS is an option and the physicians lists it as an option the patient might feel obliged to consider it, Words have consequences and laws have greater consequences. Legalizing PAS may give peace of mind to a few people with terminal illness, who may be unaware of the resources available to them, but it has a huge negative implication and consequences for many who suffer ( ORounce). What if the doctorr’s prognosis is uncertain? Cancer is notorious for defying accurate diagnosis, errors do occur at times. Ironically, medical professions shun capital punishment since an innocent person could be potentially executed, whereas places that legalize PAS tolerate the real risk of a mistaken diagnosis. The cost of these mistakes is a human life, and the professionalism of the physician would be decreased.

People who believe in the opposite side of this argument for PAS, arent right since physicians have been surveyed on how many patients have requested for physician assisted suicide and only 6% have actually complied (Meier). Since most terminally ill patients decline treatment to die naturally with excellent symptoms, since they are put into nursing homes, or hospitals long term. Also, the physicians goal should be to cure or relieve the patient of pain, and not prescribe PAS because they asked for it (ORounce). There are many terminally ill care center in the US. Anyone has access to it if ever needed, so that they wouldnt have to consider ending their life. Therefore physician assisted suicide should remain illegal.

People who are for physician assisted suicide make it sounds that trying to keep people alive are not worthy human beings. What is more respectful of human life, then to maintain it until itr’s not possible. After all life is a struggle and a gamble, not one knows what the outcome will be. Physicians should try to relieve patients of their pain as long as they can, and when it’s time for the patient to go, they can die peacefully, and in that process it wont decrease the professionalism of physicians. Physician assisted suicide should remain to be illegal to maintain the temptation of PAS, physicians professionalism, and to allow doctors to keep their oath to protect patients.

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Should Physician Assisted Suicide be Allowed for Terminally Ill Patients?. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved December 6, 2022 , from

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