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Final Draft WP#3 - Marsalia 1 Angela Marsalia Patricia Droz...

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Marsalia 1 Angela Marsalia Patricia Droz English 104-530 November 6, 2007 Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Practice of Killing A fifty-two year old woman diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia refuses to take chemotherapy. She requests a form of barbiturates to help her sleep normally and to alleviate all the suffering that she is experiencing. A physician tells her that she has about six to eight months to live and continues to prescribe the fifty-two year old a lethal drug to end the rest of her life on Earth. This situation is known as Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS), in which a physician is involved with the death of a patient. Opponents believe that the physician holds responsibility for the death, but according to an individual’s choice and outlook on life, supporters think that the patient is more responsible for the death. Activists who disagree with Physician-Assisted Suicide consider it as a result of a corrupt and dissolute profession. Therefore, it should be unauthorized, and altogether, forbidden to the public. PAS violates Medical Ethics, which happen to include the Hippocratic Oath that prohibits the prescribing of lethal drugs to any person who asks for them (Cauthen). By judging each belief by its own advantages, the Oath also necessitates physicians to “swear” by all the gods and goddesses, such as Apollo and bans the collecting of fees for teaching medicine (Cauthen). The American Medical Association has expressed strong disapproval towards PAS and views it as an
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Marsalia 2 “unethical practice” that is unnecessary to the patient (Cauthen). However, several recent surveys have shown that most physicians in some areas including “60% in Oregon, 56% in Michigan, and 54% in Great Britain” are for this “unethical practice” in “extreme circumstances” (Cauthen). Dr. Kenneth Stevens defends his method of the Hippocratic Oath through the phrase,
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