The end of life care is one of the most contentious issues inmedicine (Wang et al., 2015). This is due to ethical issuesassociated with it, particularly when the aid of a physician in dyingis required (Emanuel et al., 2016, Herx, 2015). There have beennumerous debates on the morality of physician-assisted suicide forpatients in vegetative state. This paper argues that there areinstances where physician aid in dying is acceptable.
Arguments for physician aid in dying
The cornerstone of medical ethics is patient autonomy. An individualor his family has the authority to make a decision about their healthwithout coercion from a third party. This argument has been used tosupport changes in laws that allow assisted suicide (Cohen-Almagor,2015, Gamondi et al., 2014).
Statistics indicates that end of life patients who do not request foraid in dying from medical workers suffer more compared to otherpatients. Consequently, assisted suicide has been advocated as ameans of reducing suffering (Ganzini et al., 2014). For example,questions have been raised on whether there is a need for a patientwho will die in the next three months to continue suffering.Shortening the painful dying process will also reduce the economicburden associated with the end of life care (Cohen-Almagor, 2015).
Nonetheless, there are several arguments against physician aid indying. According to the Hippocratic Oath, medical workers should notdo harm. Additionally, it has been opposed due to issues related tothe potential risks among venerable populations, mainly the disabled(Battin et al., 2007). The majority of the arguments against mercykilling are based on religious beliefs and values which emphasis onthe sanctity and preservation of life (Nicole et al., 2013).
Statistics indicates that majority of people in the United States andother parts of the world, as well as medical workers, supportphysician-assisted suicide (Maessen, et al., 2014, Sercu et al.,2012). Therefore, relevant legislations are justified.
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