PHI 103Inform Logic
PROFESSOR JASON LUM
May 19, 2013
The Hippocratic Oath is the often invoked against the morality of physician involvement in deaths of patients. The oath declares: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” Numerous churches share the opinion of the American Medical Association that this kind of involvement in the death of patients is unacceptable for physic. (UIC.EDU) At the age of 61, my father was diagnosis with throat cancer, 42 out of 51 lymph nods were infected. My father was a man who never got sick and never had a tooth pulled as far as I can remember as child up into my adulthood life. When I receive the news I was devastated and drove home to be with him during the surgery. He lived to see his 62nd birthday and was doing very well; he even tried to go back to work a week after having the surgery, because he was trying to beat the disease. Fall of 2001 the doctors told my father that there was nothing else they could do because the cancer has spread over his body. With that news my father began to decline in his health when he was doing so well up until the news. He lost all hope to live to the point he could not walk anymore. December of that year my mom called me at work and said my father had gotten worse and that I needed to come home, so I took a leave of absence from work and went home. The last week of my father’s life was spent in the hospital, and during that week I saw a man who stood 6’4 180 pounds who has never been sick his life, a man who had never had a tooth pulled as far as I knew of as a child or in my adulthood life; laying there lifeless suffering in pain curled up in the fetal position in agony. I tried to feed him one day and saw something white in his mouth and called the nurse and would you know that the white I saw was his teeth falling out. I never left his side, when the doctors would come in the exam him, I would awaken to hear what they had to say and to ask questions. On December 17, 2001 at 4:17pm I lost my father to cancer. I was heartbroken to know that my father would no longer be with me to walk me down the isle at my wedding or see his grandchild. If I had known about the physician assistance in patient suicide, my mother and I would have discussed it with his doctors but we did not know. It is very hard to see someone you love lay and suffer from pain and there’s nothing you can do about it. I agree with this solution and think that the medical board should reconsider this
For years, doctors have been prohibited from assisting patients in taking their own lives. Dr. Jack Kevorkian gained world attention by assisting in several suicides to dying patients; he was sentenced to over 60 years for his efforts, despite the gratitude of the patients and their families. Recent laws in Oregon and the U.K. have started a trend of legalization. But some, most notably the United States Attorney General’s Office, are determined to prevent the laws from going through.
A central question that faces the profession is the relationship of assisted suicide to the fundamental goals and values of the profession itself. As noted, the A.M.A. holds that it is detrimental to medicine itself. There are other views, some commentators have supported assisted suicide but still argued that it falls outside the domain of moral medical practice; they argue there ought to be other (non-physicians) who assist in death of this kind. Other commentators note that there is a plurality of views within the medical profession, and the goals of the profession, and the opinion about for example, the practice of abortion. Why it should not goes the argument, also tolerate diversity in respect of physician-assisted suicide?
Even the term to be used when discussing physician involvement in hastening a patient’s death is a matter of debate. Different commentators use