Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician Assisted Suicide - Week 5 Final project

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Assisted Suicide Physician Assisted Suicide Terra Recek PHI200: Mind and Machine (ABS1135G) Robert Vaughan 09/23/2011
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Assisted Suicide Physician Assisted Suicide The dispute over the morality and potential legality of physician-assisted suicide is increasingly important as a large portion of the population is aging and these end of life issues become uncomfortably personal. Soon, and even now, this debate will be less of a theoretical issue to be read about in scholarly papers, and more often a debate that will make its way into hospital rooms, hospices, and homes. Ordinary people will be faced with making monumental end of life decisions, and it is important that they make informed decisions. For this reason, it is important to organize and identify the lines of the debate. It is especially important to explain and critically assess the difference between what is already legal and what should or should not be made legal. This paper will contribute to further clarification of the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing sides of the debates within the debate that have been previously outlined by adding my own assessments of the arguments. I am particularly interested in the difference between allowing someone to die and killing. At present, it is perfectly legal and widely accepted as a morally licit practice to forgo any treatment of an illness. This practice comes from the right to not have one’s body invaded. If an individual were given treatment against his will, this would violate his bodily integrity. Even if a patient has an illness that could easily be cured by medicine, he has the legal right to refuse treatment provided he is of sound mind and is adequately informed. In removing life-sustaining treatment, the patient does not die directly by the removal but is caused to die from the underlying disease or condition. But does the patient die solely from the underlying causes, or does the doctor causally contribute to the
Background image of page 2
Assisted Suicide death by removing the treatment? If a patient is on life support and a man comes in the middle of the night and removes the life support, the patient dies. Yes, the patient dies from the underlying causes of the disease, but we would also tend to agree that the man killed her, or is at least partly responsible for her death. Now, if in this case the action of removing the life support is the same action as that of the physician when he is acceding to the request of the patient to forgo treatment, is this not also killing? One possible explanation for this reasoning is that if the physician does not provide treatment that he should and could provide in order to save a patient’s life, then he not only allows the patient to die, but perhaps it could be deemed a kind of negligent homicide. If the doctor does not provide treatment because the patient does not desire treatment, this is not homicide, but it is allowing the patient to die. It seems that another important question to ask is whether or not forgoing
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 01/26/2012 for the course PHI 200 taught by Professor John during the Summer '11 term at Ashford University.

Page1 / 14

Physician Assisted Suicide - Week 5 Final project

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online