The Complications of Physician-Assisted Suicide

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There is a heavy debate on the legality, morality, and ethics surrounding physician-assisted suicide because itr’s difficult to determine what qualifies a person for assisted suicide because there has not been enough thorough research. There are many aspects, both beneficial and detrimental, that have not been adequately explored. This should be a cause for concern for both doctors and patients.

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The controversy surrounding physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia is rooted in the lack of knowledge about the regulations, demand, qualifications, moral and ethical issues, the current legality surrounding the issue and why it should continue to be illegal in most states.

Most who oppose physician-assisted suicide base their opinion on the moral and ethical arguments and the possible risks. In the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, Faith Lagay states, “”Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, [it] would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks”” (Lagay,2001). Physician-assisted suicide can not be considered palliative care, which is specific medical treatment focused towards patients with serious or terminal illness, because it is not healing the patient and is generally considered unethical. In the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Richard A. Gingrich, M.D explains that Many patients are very susceptible to feelings of guilt of being a burden on their families which could lead to requesting assisted suicide not because they really want to die, but because they may feel that their families, or even society, would be better off without them (Gingrich, 1993). This is a major concern for physicians who would be willing to conduct assisted suicide because itr’s difficult to determine the real reasons someone would request it. Guilt on the part of the patient is not considered a valid reason because it could be a side effect of a mental illness or trauma. Stephen S. Lefrak, M.D., a reputable professor of medicine, states in the NEJM, The error lies in assuming that physicians have the talent and the personal qualities to meet the proposed safeguards and policies. Can we be so arrogant about our abilities that we would allow ourselves to govern the distribution of death? (Lefrak, 1999). This quote makes an essential point, itr’s not another personr’s responsibly or right to decide the fate the end of anotherr’s life. Nobody should be granted the power to rightfully and inconsequentially distribute death, which is essentially what physician-assisted suicide is.

On the other hand, people who support physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia refer to it as treatment for patients as a euphemism to make people believe that itr’s a medical procedure to ease the morality issues. The supporters defence explains that the main argument is that people have the right to control what happens to their own body and have the right to make their own decisions.

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