Use the same topic and position to complete this assignment.
- Euthanasia and assisted suicide
Summarize the decision-making model you employed and the process used to arrive at your position.
Summarize and explain each person’s position and evidence.
Explain how seeing the positions and evidence of others changed or reinforced your position.
Cite at least 3 peer-reviewed sources published within the last 5 years that support your positions.
There exist significant controversies on the ethical grounds that underlies the act of healthcare professionals of assisting patients, intentionally and out of direct, or indirect consent end life to relieve pain and suffering, also called mercy killing. However, the benefits outweigh the cons from the practice, hence I support the practice as beneficial to the patients, their supporting systems such as their caregivers, and the society. There are various reasons, including ethical factors that weigh their support to the aspect. The self-determination concept applies to a patient’s autonomy in making decisions that relate to their health status. Healthcare professionals are required to respect autonomous patient demands since individuals can choose ways to lead their lives (Westrick, 2013). Examples of such decisions include the preferred way to die and choosing personal destiny.
Physician-assisted suicide agrees with beneficence, which entails showing compassion for the suffering who represents the patient cohort. In respect to attempting to, and doing good, euthanasia and patient-assisted suicide is considered a virtuous act and might be considered an act of non-abandonment of a patient, which has been part of conventional care that was conferred by physicians. Some arguments relate to a compromised life quality that affects individuals, resulting from a disease that results in significant patient suffering. Diseases, such as cancer in the end-stage can be very agonizing to those affected as the persons have to bear significant pain such that dying is preferred to life (Boudreau & Somerville, 2014). In such cases, physicians act in respect with beneficence that seeks to alleviate pain and patient suffering particularly for persons presenting with terminal ailments.
Additional reasons supporting euthanasia encompass the view that death is a personal matter, hence people should be given justice by allowing them to make decisions with consent, of their desire to die or to live. Besides, it is considered an expensive act to keep individuals alive particularly when there exists no cure for their conditions, hence mercy killing is considered as a vital way to relieve resources that could otherwise be utilized in treating people with manageable conditions. Importantly, mercy killing helps to spare a patient’s caregivers and close family members the pain of seeing their loved ones suffer without any potential for the improvement of their presenting health conditions.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide had long been a complex disputable topic as it deals with the ethical-moral of human being cause uncertainty in the field and the need by society to suppress these controversial comments. Euthanasia is the act of relieving one’s pain and suffering by ending one’s life. There is active and passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is the act of withholding treatment to continue life, whereas the use of lethal substances to end one’s life is considered active euthanasia (Luzon, 2019). Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is the act of helping one to die using prescribed lethal drugs per a patient’s request in which the patient will self-administer the medication to end one’s life (Luzon, 2019). Although in the US about six State has passed the act to legalized it many states still are against the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Before the legalization, the US Supreme Court believed that there is no right to die in the United States. Other factors involve the act of the physician, which contradicts the moral roles of what the physician stands for, to prevent and treat the disease of the illness. Another opposing view of physician-assisted suicide is going against the medical code of conduct with the obligation to carry out the duties to comfort or heal the patient under the ethical principle of beneficence and nonmaleficence (Barsness et al., 2020). However, I believe that PAS or euthanasia should be granted under the patient’s right to exercise autonomy with their consent after full disclosure like any other situation but to a specific extent meeting inclusion criterion. Like in the event where a patient is confirmed to have a severe chronic illness, with no improvements. Considering what constitutes patient autonomy with the right to self-determination to lose one’s life should be inclined to the patient experiencing unbearable pain and suffering from a poor prognosis. For example, in the states that legalized PAS, the allow terminally ill, competent patient to end their lives through self-administration of lethal medication voluntarily who are medically anticipated to die in less than six months (Luzon, 2019). PAS is considered a legitimate approach in extreme cases to help control symptoms compared to those on palliative with the method of palliative sedation, which helps relieve patient pain and help patients go (Barsness et al., 2020). There should be a fine line in the use of PAS or euthanasia to ensure patients meet inclusion criteria with established rules and guidelines. Improper use will be considered murder without patient consent in the absence of severe illness declare by a physician and medical prediction of a patient dying less than six months.
The right to euthanasia and assisted suicide is a complicated topic that concerns many people. The debate whether a dying patient can choose to die with the assistance of a physician and the moral beliefs against it. People have the right to choose for their health purposes, this is known as autonomy. I believe those who are terminally ill should have the right to choose to end their pain and suffering. In the case of the terminally ill patients who may be on hospice should have the right to choose if they want to end their life due to suffering, it’s the patient’s right to autonomy. The legality of refusing medical treatment is based on the patient’s right to make her medical decisions (Barbuzzi, M. 2014). If a terminally ill patient can “refuse or discontinue medical treatment is justified because it protects their autonomy, then it is contradictory to say that legalizing active killing and assisted suicide does not do the same thing” (Barbuzzi, M. 2014). But after studying both sides of the issue, a compassionate individual must conclude that competent terminal patients should be given the right to end their pain and suffering by allowing autonomy, to choose euthanasia by a medical provider.
Till this day, it is difficult to determine if euthanasia and assisted suicide should be an option for patients. There are many medical, legal, ethical, and religious factors that contributes to the pros and cons of legalizing euthanasia. According to Tsai et al (2020), the primary reason patients request for euthanasia is due to the perceived loss of dignity and not from unbearable pain (p. 152). As this being said, these emotionally unstable patients are vulnerable to coercion which makes them sort to euthanasia as a last option. A patient that is emotionally unstable needs the guidance, comfort, support, and care from healthcare professionals. Appropriate treatment and diagnoses are needed for those with mental illnesses and should not feel that euthanasia should be their last resort of treatment. Other people also mentions that the patient has the right to autonomy in deciding their plan of care. Even though patients have the right to autonomy and make their own decisions, there should be restrictions in human rights when putting harms to self or other, which includes ending one’s life. According to Tsai et al (2020), there is no description in legalization that euthanasia is a human right (p. 154). Even if patients have the right to euthanasia and regulations were made, it would be difficult to ensure safety processes, protection of the doctors and nursing performing the procedure, and clear guidelines to ensure it is the patient’s voluntary, clear, and informed decision with an appropriate reason for the euthanasia. “A Dutch government study revealed that in 1990 there were more than 1,000 cases of euthanasia without an explicit request” (Tsai et al, 2020, p. 156). Although there are some pros of euthanasia and assisted suicide, I am against it.
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