Ethical Dilemmas

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  • Topic: Ethics, Voluntary euthanasia, Jack Kevorkian
  • Pages : 2 (768 words )
  • Download(s) : 226
  • Published : January 26, 2007
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There are many ethical dilemmas/cases throughout history, today I would like to address two issues/dilemmas that I believe have impacted and helped reshape our stances upon medical ethics. The first issue in which I would like to address to Physician Assisted Suicide or sometimes referred to as PAS. Many people have varied viewpoints on this topics ranging from patient suffering, patient rights to patient-physician trust. This point has been battled over and over again by people year in and year out but the most influential person would have to be Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Dr. Death, believed he was ethically right by assisting terminally ill people to end their life by prescribing and "pushing" life taking drugs. Dr. Kevorkian argued that by assisting these people with their suicide, the final outcome would end their pain and suffering and the patient has that right through the principle of Autonomy. As cited in Scholarly literature Dr. Kevorkian was only ½ correct. The theory is "Practitioners are considered to be acting ethically in their primary intention of relieving pain, regardless of secondary result" (Pierce, 1999). Therefore that is partly where Dr. Kervorkian lost his bid for being ethically right. He was prescribing the drugs for the sole intent and purpose to end the life of the patient. Secondly was the fact that he went from just prescribing the drugs for pain and comforting the patient while they administered them to themselves, to actually administering the lethal doses his self with the secondary results to become the primary intentions.

The second issue/dilemma that I truly believe shaped our history due to the lack of proper ethics would have to be The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. In this experiment as you will see there was oblivious disregard for the four ethical principles of Autonomy, Beneficence and No Malfeasance and Justice. In this case the United States Public Health Service (PHS) requested a study of the control...
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