The decisions we all make at the ending of our life as we know it on earth have been of question as it relates to ethics for years. If a person decides to end their own life by refusing medical care, is this still considered suicide? Is it even morally acceptable to the families who face these situations? In most religions, it is considered a sin to take one’s own life, so how can we be ethically and morally accepting of assisted suicide in people with terminally ill diseases? In this essay, we will examine this issue further and discuss why it is acceptable to some and unacceptable to others. Ending One’s Own Life
In certain instances is it morally and ethically right to assist a patient with taking their own lives to end their suffering due to a terminal illness? While in some states it is legally acceptable to do so, that does not actually mean it is ethically right to do so. When a physician takes an oath, he promises to do everything he can in order to save lives, not take them. However, I do believe that there are instances that could lead a respected physician into making the decision to end his patient’s suffering if there is no hope for recovery. Having watched many family members suffer a disease that is horrific to go through like Polycystic Kidney Disease, I would say that it may not be ethical to some who have not experienced such suffering firsthand.
The Meaning of Life The meaning of life, defined by Victor E. Frankl, is the will to find your meaning in life. It is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. He believes that if you are approached with the question of "what is the meaning of my life" or in this case, "life is meaningless," then you should reverse the question to ...
However, once you see a person that you love and care about going through such agony and know it will only get worse, accepting an assisted suicide situation makes more sense. I feel as people who know what suffering is, the value of a person’s life should be taken into consideration when they are facing terminal illnesses. People deal with pain differently, and for some it can become unbearable and the idea of death and the peace that comes with it can become very appealing. According to Cable News Network (2014), “Powell, who died at age 82 in 2008, had worked to pass Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, a law enacted in 1997 that allows terminally ill patients to choose to end their own lives with lethal medications. A similar law was passed in 2009 in Washington. In Montana, the state supreme court ruled in 2009 that doctors in that state cannot be prosecuted for assisting with the death of terminally ill patients, but did not guarantee it as a constitutional right.”
In this particular case, Powell’s family gathered around him in the living room as he was being administered a lethal dose of pain medications that would ultimately not only end his suffering, but also his own life. (Cable News Network, 2014).
In cases such as this, I do not think that I should be the judge as to what is ethical and what is not. I have not lived in this man’s body and do not understand his suffering, however, his family who accepted his decision had watched him suffer from the cancer that took over his body. The question at hand here is whether it really makes a difference whether a person’s life is ended by an act of active killing, or whether it is simply allowed to expire? The ultimate ending outcome is the same, however the journey is a little less painful with active killing.
Although many religions tell us that suicide is a sin, is this really considered suicide when the body is slowly dying anyway? Many people might argue that medically assisted suicide is not the same as simply being depressed and taking your own life with a gun. In conclusion, there are lots of questions with different qualifying answers that are all ethically questionable in someone’s opinion. One may argue that assisted medical suicide is the same as taking a gun and blowing your own brains out.
However, for those who may have watched a family member battle a disease such as cancer that destroys the human body, they may understand the point of assisted suicide and accept it as being ethical. In this essay we have examined ideas from both sides of this ethical dilemma and in the end it is up to each person to decide what is ethically and morally right for them.
... patient may end his own life whereas physician-assisted suicide is when the doctor causes the patient's death, for example through a lethal ... ' A nurse must not act deliberately to end a person's life.' These are two of the very basic arguments against euthanasia. ... slowly and painfully deteriorate in front of their eyes, their bodies ravaged by pain and suffering. Meanwhile, the medical profession ...
Cable News Network. (2014).
Choosing death can be like a ‘birth,’ advocates say. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/30/assisted.suicide.oregon/