Values and Principles Regarding Physician-assisted Suicide
Values and Principles Regarding Physician-assisted Suicide

Values and Principles Regarding Physician-assisted Suicide

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  • Pages: 3 (1086 words)
  • Published: October 5, 2021
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Written by Ryan Anderson, the article evaluates issues regarding physician-assisted suicide. Anderson defines physician-assisted suicide as the act of prescribing deadly drugs or administering lethal injections to patients, with the intent of inducing gradual and painless death (Anderson, 2015). The article indicates that there are four predominant concerns regarding assisted suicide. Firstly, this practice corrupts the ethical terms upon which medicine is practiced (Anderson, 2015). Typically, medicine tools are solely intended to heal, and not to kill.

In this case, physician-assisted suicide debases the medical commitment to life and health. Secondly, PAS violates human dignity. All human beings, irrespective of their health status have the right to life (Anderson, 2015). Therefore, by inducing death, assisted suicide disrespects the significance of human life. Thirdly, assisted suicide also undermines the importance of human compassion and social solidarity (Anderson, 2015).

Through assisted suicide, the temptation to eliminate the physically challenged, chronically ill, and elderly will increase significantly. This, in turn, erodes human morality and empathy. Fourthly, assisted suicide poses a detrimental threat to marginalized groups in society (Anderson, 2015). Individuals that require societal help are instead offered lethal treatment to induce quicker death. Anderson argues that due to the said concerns, physician-assisted suicide is both morally and legally wrong.

Physician-assisted suicide has raised profound ethical issues, which are said to violate predominant values and principles. Typically, the ethics of human life indicate that life is sacred and God-given. For this reason, it is believed that only God has the sole right to take away life. Physician-assisted suicide violates


the sanctity of life. Through assisted suicide, patients and doctors are assigned the power to take away life. This, in turn, violates the divinity and sanctity of human life.

Medical principles and ethics, as presented in the Hippocratic medical oath, indicate that doctors and other medical practitioners are required to preserve human life, by protecting the sick from injustice and events or practices that may pose harm (Adams, 2015). In this respect, the Hippocratic Oath requires all medical practitioners to conserve human life. Physician-assisted suicide prompts medical practitioners to induce death. As a result, doctors end up violating the principles and values of the Hippocratic Oath, which obliges them to use medical tools and techniques to conserve life (Adams, 2015).

Human principles and values require all humanity to adopt and advocate for virtues such as empathy, compassion, honesty, truthfulness, among many others. For instance, the standard of non-maleficence compels human beings to observe goodness by not posing harm to themselves or other people (Vaughn, 2015). Physician- assisted suicide poses harm to patients by inducing death. This practice, in turn, violates the human principle of non-maleficence.

In addition to the principle of maleficence, physician- assisted suicide also violates the human principle of fidelity, which requires people to keep their word, and observe agreements. Prior to receiving accreditation as medical practitioners, doctors are obliged to agree to the principles stipulated in the Hippocratic Oath. As mentioned earlier, the oath requires them to conserve human life. By inducing death, doctors corrode the principles of the Hippocratic Oath. In this case, they also corrode the human principle of fidelity (Vaughn, 2015).

The law requires all individual

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to be treated impartially. Physician-assisted suicide violates the essence of human equality (Vaughn, 2015). The chronically ill patients are not deemed fit to live. Therefore, they are subjected to earlier death under the justification of eliminating suffering. All individuals, irrespective of their health status, disability, or age should be treated equally before the law.

In the article, the author evaluates the morality of physician-assisted suicide. Anderson argues that this practice is morally wrong. As a result, it should not be legalized since it corrodes medical ethics, human principles, the essence of human life, and the law. Anderson further argues that instead of advocating for assisted suicide, the government, and the public should consider embracing genuine care and compassion. In my opinion, I feel that physician-assisted suicide should be prescribed since it is moral, religiously, medically, and legally wrong. Further, I also feel that humanity should advocate for sincere compassion and care, as opposed to advocating for assisted suicide.

Religious ethics indicate that human life is God-given, and it is for this reason that it should be perceived as a sacred aspect that is beyond human control and understanding. Further, religious ethics also indicate that God has the sole right to take life. In my opinion, physician-assisted suicide corrodes religious ethics for various reasons. First, it disregards the sanctity of human life by inducing early death. Second, it also disregards God’s role as the giver and taker of life by giving the medical practitioners and patients the right to choose when and how to take life.

Biomedical ethics require medical practitioners to conserve human life as per the Hippocratic Oath. In this case, doctors are prevented from using medical techniques and tools to end human life. Assisted suicide encourages medical practitioners to induce premeditated death by administering lethal drugs or injections. In this regard, this practice violates biomedical ethics in various ways. First, it requires doctors to induce death. Thus, it prompts them to violate medical ethics, which require them to conserve human life.

Second, it violates biomedical ethics since it corrodes the significance of medical tools. Instead of using these tools to conserve life, doctors use them to induce death. Legally, all human beings should be treated equally, irrespective of their health status. Assisted suicide violates human equality by subjecting the chronically ill patients to predetermined death. Overall, assisted suicide violates human morality. Typically, human beings are encouraged to care and empathize with the ill. However, through physician-assisted suicide, human beings corrode the moral values of compassion and care.

Typically, patients suffering from chronic ailments are often depressed and tend to perceive themselves as burdens. As a result, they lose meaning for life and opt to die. In my opinion, showing sincere compassion and care will make it easier for patients to uphold the essence of life. Instead of perceiving themselves as burdens, chronically ill patients will feel appreciated and loved. This will increase their will to live, irrespective of their health statuses.

Therefore, by advocating for genuine care and compassion, the government and the public will contribute imperatively to the mitigation of physician-assisted suicide. Conclusively, given an evaluation of assisted suicide, it is apparent that

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