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Does A Person With A Terminal Condition Have A Right To Physician-Assisted Suicide?

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Introduction

This issue is a very strong subject today in the medical world. Terminally ill patients are allowed the right to die with dignity. When I say die worth dignity let me clarify exactly what I mean. When a person has a terminal illness, generally they suffer with great pain. As a patient, being able to decide if you want to continue to go through this agonizing pain daily is considered a right to some. This sometimes this is the best outcome, despite what you’re thinking, medicine doesn’t relieve pain to where a patient is comfortable. The patient also thinks about the medical expenses that they are accruing while waiting on their last days, the best interest of the family is something a terminally ill patient thinks about. On the flip side of this topic, others debate that the terminally ill patient have no right to end their life regardless of the agonizing pain. Some feel that the decision made by the patient is merely made off the situation that they are in. The fact that the pain they are in will be gone is what prompts them to make the decision. The decision to take someone’s life, or commit physician assisted suicide Is an option that most do not agree with across the United States.

Several legislations have voted across the board to not legalize the act of euthanasia, where it is legal in several states such as Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Also mandated by a court ruling in Montana and California. There are a lot of great points on both sides of this very controversial topic that many have been dealing with for years. Helping someone kill themselves is morally wrong, it is extremely unlikely, however life can fall to dreadful levels, this is where the argument comes in about how poor the quality of life must be before it is not worth continuing.

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Explanation of the Ethical Theory

Ethical theory is a theory that represents the viewing platform from which individuals seek control as they make decisions. Each theory highlights several different arguments, a different decision-making style or regulation. There are six major ethical principles, beneficence, Least harm, respect for autonomy, justice, deontology and utilitarianism. The beneficence principle basically leaders the decision maker to do “what is right and good”. This principle is like the principle of utility, which says that we should try to produce the largest ratio of good over evil imaginable in the world. Less harm is a principle that deals with circumstances in which no choice appears valuable. In some cases, the person making the decisions try to find to the choice to do least harm to the fewest people. Respect for anatomy is a principle that lets people make choices that apply to their lives. It makes sense overall, people should have control over their lives and who would make a better decision about their lives besides the person who has complete understanding and control over their lives.

Justice is another ethical principle. This principle says that the decision maker should focus on what is fair when making the decision. Decisions made should be fair to all involved. Deontology states that the decision maker should stick to their obligations and duties when decisions are made regarding ethics. This principle has some flaws because even though decisions are being made for the good, sometimes there is no real reason why the duty is being upheld. The last ethical principle is utilitarianism, which is based on a person’s capability to foresee the consequences of an action. Although a person can use their life skills to attempt to predict outcomes, who can really say if the predictions are precise. This moral theory gives fair choices in an effort to guarantee the least amount of harm is done to everyone involved. Part

Application of the Ethical Theory

The most ethical question on this topic is do we kill in compassion to relieve a person’s pain, or is it unethical to do so? Naturally, majority of people would say it is not okay to kill another human being, regardless of the situation, but sometimes life can be an exception. Asking to die this sounds a bit humane. To a utilitarian approach, the situation would be weighed evenly, and the right thing to do would be whatever harms the least amount of people. For example, if the person wanted to die, but less family members objected than those who approved, in this case, mercy killing would be arranged. These approaches may sound a bit silly, but they are actual approaches that can eventually kill a terminally ill patient. Taking on the steps necessary to be eligible for doctor assisted suicide can turn into a slippery slope very fast. Reason being, this circumstance is weakening the trust and relationship between doctor and patient. Some also believe that it is belittling of human life, which is supposed to be precious and respected.

The whole idea of doing away with life based on troublesomeness and costs disrespects the worth of life. Believe it or not, there is a possibility of miracles, recoveries and cures. In some cases, it is possible to overcome said illnesses., ending a patient’s life prematurely can deny the patient a chance for an unbelievable healing and/or cure. Some have concluded that it is unethical to putting so much effort and time into finding ways to end life rather than focusing that energy into what it would take to save a life. However, I do understand how and why terminally ill patients chose death over life, but at the same time I think these same patients could be rendered compassionate care as an alternative.

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