Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted Suicide

4 April 2015
This paper looks at the question of Physician-Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia.

This paper is an analysis of the many different issues and arguments that occur when the topic of physician-assisted suicide is discussed. The paper looks at some of the ethical questions raised on both sides of the debate and looks at how other countries worldwide have dealt with similar issues. he author presents arguments in support of euthanasia, including its use in cases of patients who are terminally ill, or have suddenly suffered a debilitating handicap, such as a brain or spinal cord injury that prohibits them from being able to function in society. According to the author, these patients feel that they have the right to choose when and how they will live, or die. The Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, is an example of how one state has dealt with this pressing issue. The author argues that those who oppose this type of law fail to recognize that they are a way to prevent its reckless abuse, and therefore protect the patient.
Next, supporters of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide argue that individuals suffering from advanced terminal illnesses experience a total loss of quality of life due to incurable, protracted medical conditions (Humphrey). Traditional forms of suicide often concern individuals who decide to terminate their life because of short-term emotional, financial, and/or psychological difficulties. However, with euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the difficulty which has caused an individual to consider ending his or her life, i.e., an advanced terminal illness, is not a short-term problem for which a cure or resolution exists. While numerous medical advances have been made with respect to certain diseases and illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, the fact is that there is no cure in sight for any of these diseases or illnesses. Thus, it must be asked whether it is ethical or morally right to prolong an individual’s life simply for the sake of life itself.
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