Philosophy: Death and Patient Essays

Submitted By angeleyes17
Words: 755
Pages: 4

If your patient was to lose their mental state of ability in four months and asked to die, would you do it? Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in most U.S. states. Assisted suicide is legalized in Montana, Oregon, and Washington. In order for a patient to receive PAS (Physician Assisted Suicide) they must only have six months left to live, must have a sound mental state, write a request, and two separate verbal requests. Ultimately the decision is dependent on what is best for the patient and their unique situation. These are difficult situations but one can make a strong case for patient autonomy which is why I would choose to do what the patient asks.
“ It is not intrinsically wrong for someone with a terminal disease to kill herself…it is not intrinsically wrong for physicians to assist someone with a terminal disease who has reasonable grounds for wanting to kill herself” (Gill 53). I agree with Michael Gill’s argument because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and are allowed to make decisions for themselves. If the result of the patient living would be that they would not be able to comprehend anything within four months then it is understandable that the patient would rather instigate their death instead of living in a life where they do not know who they are. Their memories define them as a person and show how their personality is portrayed. That is a great point that Bill states when persuading to take a medication that can cause a quick and easy death. Bill would rather just stop his life before he got worse because that would affect him and his family. This is very true because instead of causing more pain and suffering Bill would rather stop it knowing he lived a happy life.
The only problem is with Bill’s request is that he does not meet all the requirements with PAS. As stated before the PAS says that the patient must have less than six months to live and that is not Bill’s case. Bill is still able to live but will not be able to function after four months. Bill would result in staying in a vegetative state eventually where he is unable to function or do anything for himself (Mathuna). Some families would view it as his time of death while others would protest and let him live until his body could no longer function (Mathuna). I believe since Bill is asking to end his life early because he knows what the consequences are then I, as his doctor should grant his request. Since Bill is still in a conscious state he would rather make his choice now than have his family do it when he is incapable. People compare PAS to euthanasia but they are completely different from one another. “While both