The Ethical and Legal Issues of Physician-Assisted Suicide
The Ethical and Legal Issues of Physician-Assisted Suicide.
-You will provide an ethical and legal analysis of your chosen topic as it relates to law and ethics in the US health care delivery system. You will use US journals, US populations, US laws and US ethics to analyze this topic. This is a research based paper (ethics and law) and should not include your personal opinion on the topic selected.
–APA checklist: includes a cover page; every component double spaced; margins at one inch; abstract not required; all references are listed and cited, and the reference list begins on a separate page.
–The paper should be based on published literature, and not your opinions.
You should have at least 5 references not older than 2013 – 2019. Your references do not need to be peer reviewed journal articles for this assignment. However, they must be reliable sources. The required textbook for this course will not be counted as one of the 5 required references. Newspaper, News sources, Wikipedia, blogs, .coms, etc. are not scholarly sources
–No more than 10% of your paper may consist of quoted material. Points will be deducted in proportion to the amount of quoted material exceeding 10% of your paper.
–Your paper should be concise and to the point. The body of the paper must be five pages or less
The Ethical and Legal Issues of Physician-Assisted Suicide.
The American healthcare system is experiencing a technological revolution which comes with high physician expertise in dealing with various health issues. The healthcare delivery system has expanded widely where physicians and patients can access data which have brought about complicated legal and ethical aspects according to (Sprung,et,al.,2018). Legal and ethical issues are enhanced by patient-centered research without considering professional laws and ethics in the healthcare industry. For instance, abortion , stillbirth and physician-assisted suicide, the paper discuss ethical and legal issues in physician-assisted death.
Many people are concerned with the death stories, and this has led to people advocating for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide as patient-centered care. The American College of physicians does not approve the legalization of the desire to control life and decide how to die (Ababneh, 2018). The medical issues affect the role of medicine as a profession in society at the same time, change the integrity and relationship between the patient and the doctor.
The patient’s end of life is not given much attention in the United States, where health care sectors should improve healthcare at the last stages instead of neglecting patients. Administering treatment at the end of life is financially draining and emotionally painful; therefore, families and patients deciding to stop the treatment process.
Healthcare systems have improved their services to severe patients by offering hospice and palliative medicines, which ease the dying process, although the care is expensive and requires tremendous financial support and well-equipped physicians in palliative care (Quill, and Battin, 2018). State law may contradict professional ethics, especially when physicians on the ground participating in a particular practice due to ethical or professional beliefs. If state laws discourage physician-assisted ethics, the health sectors are expected to adhere to the regulations.
Medical ethics provides duties and responsibilities of physicians to the society and patients where physician duties originate from professional, ethical principles of acting according to patient’s best interest in reducing harm, respecting patient’s autonomy and social justice. According to medical law and ethics, patients have the right to refuse treatment to avoid inconveniences with patient’s health goals.
Patients seek physician-assisted suicide services due to loss of dignity, control, and autonomy. Ethically physician-assisted suicide is prohibited according to the principle of respect of patient’s freedom as well as the responsibility of a physician to relieve pain and suffering, although most physician-assisted deaths have resulted from patient’s personal choices.
Physician-assisted suicide is a physician empowerment issue compared to the patient. Physicians are allowed to administer hospice care and offer functional medicine and compassion for the dying patient. Most of the time, the patient is psychologically dead but not biologically dead; therefore, the physician’s ethical duty is to palliative medicine and offering compassion for a reason (Quill, and ,Battin, 2018). Physicians have the power to respect and maintain patient’s dignity, spiritual uniqueness, and traditions.
Ethically physicians operate for the patient’s best interest from being trustworthy on patient’s confidential information, assist patients to deal with illness, pain /suffering, disability, and death. In cases of patient and physician relationship, the Hippocratic Oath protects and lays ethical boundaries to avoid misunderstanding of medical authority. According to various reports, physician-assisted suicide is conducted after bad physician experience leading to physicians manipulating and influencing patients out of fear and disabilities they experience.
There is a clear distinction between the patient’s refusal to undergo treatment and physician-assisted suicide (Roberts, 2018). According to the USA Supreme Court, patients have the right to withdraw from procedures, but the use of euthanasia is a physician intervention method used to kill the patient.
The legal perception of physician-assisted suicide varies from one state to another, where most countries have legalized the practice, for instance, California, Canada as well as Oregon State in the USA (Roberts, 2018). According to data, most patients who ask for death control are educated but older people. According to state reports in 2016, California department of public health recorded 191 victims who died after being prescribed the medicine, and 111 were injected, .where almost 60% had cancer while the rest were discovered to be well-educated persons.
In the United States, different states have laws concerning suicide and felony, where the rule of liberty states that seriously ill patients have the freedom to die in respect of their dignity through the help of a medical doctor. According to “equal protection “in the fourteenth amendment, the state laws violate this law by the withdrawal of life from a patient at the same time denying a dying patient from receiving medical attention.
The due process protects an individual from state interferences with fundamental rights and liberty. The use or prescription of fatal medicine is a proximate cause of death (Pormeister, Finley, and Rohack, 2017) . Therefore, withdrawal of life support machine and the underlying illness are all proximate-caused deaths; thus, no laws are challenging the prohibition of physician-assisted suicide in the United States. Roman Catholic Church is the physician-assistant suicide organization fighting the practice as well as the medical and nursing association through professional ethics.
The Washington state prohibition of physician-assisted suicide is found unconstitutional due to going against the due process clause in the fourteenth amendment. New York laws violate the equal protection clause because terminally ill patients are treated differently at the end of life. Where other patients denied treatments and others asking for lethal medicines, according to the equal protection clause, no person should be denied the right to equal protection.
Physician-assisted suicide has not been defined lawfully was the ninth circuit has found it challenging what the right involves. Others have named the right as the right to fasten one’s death, liberty to decide how to die, and so on (Pormeister, Finley,and Rohack, 2017). Many individuals weren’t to control their death, but death is unpredictable unless a person commits suicide where no laws restrict a person from committing suicide.
The only code against administering lethal medicine or preventing physician-assisted suicide through medicine is the law against medicine prescription without a probable reason. No particular physician in the United States has been convicted due to physician assisted-suicide, especially for prescribing medicine to a terminally sick patient.
Many people are concerned with how they will die, which has led to unethical practices in the medical sector. According to professional medical ethics, physicians have a responsibility to protect their patient’s dignity by taking them through the illness process, disability, and death. Most physicians are driven by sympathy leading to the administration of drugs, which is unethical. Physician’s compassion should be driven by good intentions, for instance, continuous treatment and administration of hospice in case of terminal illnesses.
Constitutionally the laws were long made before cases of physician-assisted suicide where there is no exclusive right against committing suicide. Although the United States has tried to discourage suicide, especially out of mental illness. The law discourages offering suicide assistance to another person, although administering drugs to a terminally ill patient is not assisted suicide but appropriate medical practice. Most states are open to the legislation of physician-assisted death, which is creating contradictions with the American pharmaceutical sector. No rights are prohibiting the exercise; therefore, most states may legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Ababneh, A. M. T. (2018). Physician Assisted Suicide for Terminally Ill Patients: An Argumentative Essay. J Palliat Care Med, 8(337), 2.
Pormeister, K., Finley, M., & Rohack, J. J. (2017). Physician Assisted Suicide as a Means of Mercy: A Comparative Analysis of the Possible Legal Implications in Europe and the United States. Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L., 24, 1.
Quill, T. E., & Battin, M. P. (2018). Physician-assisted dying: Understanding, evaluating, and responding to requests for medical aid in dying.
Roberts, A. H. (2018). Ethics and the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide. Annals of internal medicine, 168(11), 834-834.
Sprung, C. L., Somerville, M. A., Radbruch, L., Collet, N. S., Duttge, G., Piva, J. P., … & Ely, E. W. (2018). Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia: emerging issues from a global perspective. Journal of palliative care, 33(4), 197-203.