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Philosophy

Essay by   •  August 25, 2010  •  831 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,505 Views

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I do not believe that it is ever ethically justified for physicians to give lethal injections to people, whether it is active or passive. Allowing physician assisted suicide (PAS) would cause people to have less faith in physicians. However, the issues that surround PAS are not only about death, they are about ones liberty, right to privacy and control over his or her own body. There are certain situations, which would be considered justifiable to others and I will present a few of them to you. However, I do not agree with PAS no matter what the case may be. The case concerning Tom Youk and Jack Kevorkian is an example of one of these situations. Although this is not a black and white issue, and the right action requires consideration of all applications and scenarios.

PAS could be considered ethical in certain situations to others. Compassion and beneficence are required. They are also desired; every caregiver wants to help his patient, deliver treatment with excellence, compassion, and the intent of beneficence. Doctors can be given a course to teach them the situations in which it would be ethical to perform a lethal injection to patients who request it. Tom Youk had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Both, he and his family, requested active euthanasia from Jack Kevorkian. Violation of personal autonomy constitutes deprivation of freedom and, is in turn, in itself wrong. Everyone has the right to privacy and control over his or her own body. Does this apply all situations? I do not believe this is the answer. There is not a guarantee either way, but when would a patient ever have hope? The hope for amazing recoveries would soon fade among many in society. The treatment that has not been tried yet or treatment that may come in the future due to new technologies may never arrive. This perverts the medical profession. Not only will the doctor-patient relationship be severely damaged, but also the image of doctors as healers will be transformed. Suicide is a selfish act used as a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Helping patients die contradicts the doctor's healing role. The desire for suicide would result in failure of several doctors to adequately relieve pain and emotional suffering as death approaches. The technology of today has brought and is still bringing new cures everyday. PAS would lead to more "Doctor Deaths: in this world, which certainly is not necessary. There is great potential for abuse; it will lead to the death of patients who really do not wish to die. Did Mr. Youk really want to die? We all have went trough times in our lives where we say things we don't mean. How are we to know if this wasn't one of those moments/phases for him? He was feeling

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