Is Physician Assisted Suicide Moral and Ethical?

Topics: Suicide, Euthanasia, Suicide methods Pages: 4 (1500 words) Published: August 6, 2012
Is Physician Assisted Suicide Moral and Ethical?

It has always been said by physicians to do no harm to a patient. Also patients have certain rights of treatment and care. Patients have a right to refuse treatment at anytime during the duration of their stay at any hospital. Also patients have a say in what treatment they should have. As long as you are able to make sound decisions, you have the right to refuse any test or treatment, even if it means you might have a bad health outcome as a result (American Cancer Society (2011), Patient Bill of Rights). This bears to question is this ethical and moral to the doctor and patient? There are five potential ‘last resort’ interventions are available under these circumstances are accelerating opioids for pain; stopping potentially life-prolonging therapies; voluntarily stopping eating and drinking; palliative sedation (potentially to unconsciousness); and physician-assisted death (Quill (2012), Physician Should “Assist in Suicide” When It Is Important). I believe exploring these common practices in ‘last resort’ intervention in care will help us see if it is moral or ethical. Accelerating Opioids

Accelerating opioids is when a physician gives an abundance of a certain drug that may cause respiratory arrest to alleviate the patient pain. The would give something like morphine at a high does to stop a patient pain in critical condition, knowing the side effects but claiming it is for the greater good (Fohr, The Double Effect of Pain Medication: Separating Myth from Reality). The problems with that how can you prove the doctor is doing it for the greater good. How can you tell that the patient don’t need all of the medication he or she is requesting? To justify the administration of medication to relieve pain even though it may lead to the unintended, although foreseen, consequence of hastening death by causing respiratory depression (Fohr, The Double Effect of Pain Medication: Separating Myth from...
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