Doctor Assisted Death Essay

Submitted By davidcantu
Words: 1919
Pages: 8

Doctor Assisted Death



The current debate on doctor-assisted suicide has been ongoing for decades focusing mainly on legal issues, religion and morality. Should doctors have the legal right to euthanize a human being? Does this conflict with the Hippocratic Oath they vowed to abide by as a medical doctor? Or does leaving a patient to suffer a slow and painful death give them to right to bend the rules in order to help their patient. Ongoing debates have been held in order to find a common ground on this controversial subject, but little has been resolved. The right an individual has to choose his or her own fate clashes with the morality concept set by society that has resulted in this prolonged issue with no clear alternative.


Of all the arguments against the legalization of assisted death, concerns about possible societal consequences are often the most compelling. Skeptics believe that if assisted suicide and/or active euthanasia become legalized, the practice will expand from patients with life-threatening illnesses who are capable of making free and informed decisions to vulnerable groups of patients who do not freely choose or who are incapable of choosing or refusing aid in dying. For example, there may be patients who will feel forced into requesting assisted death by families or communities who cannot or do not want to care for them. Not being able to afford healthcare, particularly palliative care, may also persuade people to seek "a way out" through assisted death. There is also a concern that some patients, such as those with dementia or other mental disability, will be "chosen" as recipients of assisted death by families and physicians who view the patients' quality of life as poor. These examples reflect the "slippery slope" in which abuse occurs, thereby causing more harm than good. Opponents also fear that legalization of assisted death will hinder progress toward providing comprehensive proper care. They argue that assisted suicide and euthanasia will be substituted for optimal health care rather than being reserved as an option after all measures to relieve psycho spiritual and physical distress have failed


Diving deeper into this social controversy will allow us to grasp the true concept and views of the people who are faced with these life and death dilemmas. By getting a better understanding of the reason people contemplate doctor assisted suicide will hopefully help unravel the answers to this complicated topic. Religion, legal aspects, and human morality all influence the side people take on this seesaw topic. Pushing all else aside the central question concerning this topic all connects to the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors. Physicians are obligated to relieve pain and suffering to promote the dignity of dying patients in their care. So when a patient request to be euthanized it is the doctors obligation to respect their patients decision and forgo with the procedure. Laws, obligations, facts and opinions are what influence this ongoing debate; by researching learning more about this issue will slowly unravel the answer that lies beneath.


Some people believe doctors should have the ability to euthanize there patient based upon their wishes. The process leading up to an assisted suicide is long and thorough, there is paper work and legal aspects that are carefully looked over and analyzed. Two witnesses must be present, one being of no relation to the patient. The witnesses must not be entitled to any compensation. Secondly, another physician must evaluate the patient’s symptoms and medical records in order to ensure that the patient is terminally ill. Before any prescription is written, doctors must wait fifteen days and the patient must request to be euthanized again. Once the subject has asked twice to be put to death psychologist must run several test on the patient questioning their reason and motivation behind their demands. Very commonly, decisions are made out of anger and