Research Paper on Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) (Research Paper Sample)
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Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS)
With the growing number of patients in intensive care units as well as the rise in costs of treatment, more individuals are inclined to believe that physician-assisted suicide is the best option when a person is terminally ill. However, the practice goes against the ethics in medicine as physicians are meant to offer medical assistance to help patients recover from illnesses rather than help them end their lives. Physician-assisted suicide can break the trust between patients and physicians and resultantly, doctors will be unable to fully provide quality care to patients. Proponents of physician-assisted suicide claim that the practice is in line with the rights of patients as some individuals with severe illnesses undergo great pain, thus ending their lives would be most appropriate. However, practicing PAS would not be ethical and might deprive the patient of undergoing other helpful practices such as palliative care. Therefore, physician-assisted suicide should not be condoned.
Keywords: Physician-assisted suicide, PAS, Palliative care, Euthanasia, Suicide.
Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS)
The argument of whether patients who are severely ill are entitled to a doctor’s assistance to end their suffering by ending their life has been argued for years now. A large number of patients who are nearing the end of their lives are normally admitted to intensive care units. Many of these patients are open to having their physicians or caregivers end their misery by ending their life. However, the act of physician-assisted suicide is prohibited in most western nations. For instance, many jurisdictions have banned physician-assisted death, with the judicial application of several general statutes or using certain statutory provisions.
Conventionally, physician-assisted suicide refers to the act of a patient voluntarily self-administering a prescription of lethal medication. There has been a rise in interest from the public to legalize physician-assisted suicide in recent years regardless of its ethical prohibitions. Majority of these individuals are mostly concerned about the means of their death and the emphasis by society and medicine on cure and intervention has on most occasions come at the expense of good end-of-life care (O’Rourke, O’Rourke, & Hudson, 2017). Some concerned individuals have strongly advocated that physician-assisted suicide should be considered as a legal form of ending one’s life. The argument of whether PAS should be legalized is most compelling, especially when considering policy, clinical practice, and substantive ethics. On a professional level, physician-assisted suicide can adversely affect the trust in the profession and the relationship between the patients and caregivers and most importantly, it alters the role of medical professionals in the society (O’Rourke, O’Rourke, & Hudson, 2017). More so, the principles that are mostly at stake over the issue of physician-assisted suicide underlie the responsibilities of medicine over other concerns, as well as the duties of physicians in providing care which is guided by ethics, evidence, and clinical judgment. Instead of focusing on legalizing physician-assisted suicide, society should put much focus on addressing the needs and sufferings of patients and their families by improving access to palliative care and hospice. PAS should therefore not be legalized as it is unethical and goes against the fundamental tenet of medicine.
Physician-assisted suicide is the intended termination of an individual’s life by self-administering a lethal fluid with or without the direct help of a physician (Goligher et al., 2017). Physician-assisted suicide involv...
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