nov 15 paper

nov 15 paper - PHL 314 Nov. 15, 2007 The subject of...

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PHL 314 Nov. 15, 2007 The subject of withholding or withdrawing life support is contested constantly by many who differ in opinion on the matter. The idea of allowing somebody to die and not attempt to prolong their life draws criticism for obvious reasons. There are those who believe that every effort should be made to keep people alive as long as possible, no matter the condition or quality of their life. However, it is widely believed that there are certain circumstances or conditions in medicine where it is permissible to allow the patient to die, while the hospital staff administers analgesic care and keeps them as comfortable as possible. Unlike euthanasia or assisted suicide, there is no action taken to end the patient’s life, but treatment does not extend beyond analgesic care. In the American Medical Association’s (AMA) journal article “Withholding and Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment”, arguments are presented that affirm the idea that some cases require such action from a medical staff. There are also objections presented that the AMA responds to in the article. The most notable objection is that the withholding or removal of life- sustaining treatment violates the principles of non-malfeasance and beneficence. Non- malfeasance, also known as “do no harm”, is defined as the principle of not knowingly taking any action that would harm a patient. This is a basic belief held by all medical professionals. As used in this argument, the physician violates non- malfeasance by not attempting to prolong the patient’s life. The violation occurs through the non-action of the physician. In the same non-action, the physician violates
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the principle of benevolence, which is simply the idea that he will attempt to do good for the patient, i.e. save their life.
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PHL 314 taught by Professor Z.meghani during the Spring '08 term at Rhode Island.

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nov 15 paper - PHL 314 Nov. 15, 2007 The subject of...

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