Physician assisted suicide can be in the form of lethal injection of the doctor prescribing the patient medication that would lead to the termination of his or her life. Hence, the summation of this action is that the doctor is minimizing suffering by prescribing lethal medication, and maximizing happiness by relieving the suffering which makes this an achievement of a greater good and in coherence with the utilitarian theory (Carr, 2010).Another concept that is used by the utilitarian theory to support physician assisted suicide is that the physician assisted suicide reduces the number of suicide attempts that are made by the patients which in some cases are unsuccessful and further worsen the pain and condition of the patient. Patients that are suffering from terminal illness are often in a lot of pain and are incapable of performing any substantial actions. These patients include people who have secondary progressive MS or some late stages of cancer. Hence, in this situation, physician assisted suicide is helpful in preventing further suffering for the patients and the complication of their current condition when they attempt suicide. This also illustrates a greater good that is attained from physician assisted suicide making acceptable under the utilitarian approach.As mentioned above many people use the rights based argument for defending physician assisted suicide. The main argument used is that one’s life is in his or her own hands and he or she can do what he wants with it (Paterson & Sorell, 2012). The same argument assesses the fact that an individual has rights to his or her own body; hence, this should include taking one’s own life as it is part of his body. In addition, the case of terminal illness makes this person within his full rights to end his life since he or she also possesses the right to live. The argument is that the two cannot exist separately as every individual has the right to live, and hence should also have the right to take away his or her own life.Since 1991, citizens in the United States have possessed the right to refuse medical treatment (Wilkinson, 2011). In the case when a patient is suffering from a terminal illness refusal of medical treatment will result in the death of this patient. Hence, this is similar to giving the patient the right to take his own life as
Carr, M. F. (Ed.). (2010). Physician-assisted Suicide: Religious Perspectives on Death with Dignity. Wheatmark, Inc..
Clark, N. (2014). The politics of physician assisted suicide. Routledge.
Paterson, M. C., & Sorell, T. (2012). Assisted suicide and euthanasia: a natural law ethics approach. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..
Wilkinson, D. J. C. (2011). Highlights from this issue. Journal of Medical Ethics,37(12), 705-705.
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