Moral and Ethical Implications of Physician-Assisted Death

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How should future decisions be made about the end of life rights and freedoms? In the recent past, there have been cases of increased levels of euthanasia practice. This can be attributed to the fact that it has been legalized in various countries. Most individuals consider this to be a form of assisted suicide by the physician. As much as most people regard this as a form of ending unnecessary suffering, some still consider it as going against the values of life. They consider it as a form of going against the will of the creator in protecting life. This procedure has therefore received acceptance and resistance in the same magnitude. It is thus performed with the onset of the various members of the family.

When carrying out the process of euthanasia, it is vital to ensure that the patient has consented to the process. In the absence of the consent from the patient, this kind of assisted suicide is considered murder and is likely to attract legal issues. Various medical ethics have been put in place to ensure that the physicians govern the life of the patient regardless of the prognosis. These medical ethics are put in place to prevent laxity by the physicians in offering care to the patients. This includes the physicians who tend to abandon care delivery to the terminally ill patients with the excuse that they are destined to die.

Euthanasia can, therefore, be said to be helpful only when it is a request from the patients. Various reasons may prompt an individual to choose euthanasia. One of such reasons is to end prolonged suffering that will ultimately lead to death. Another factor is to save on the health finances that are used on the treatment of the patient. It is therefore essential to note that under no circumstance does a physician has the choice of ending a patient’s life.

Thesis statement

An analysis of the life-ending processes for given patients in the United States outlines the various moral and ethical considerations, the application and the implication of this process.

Application. Regarding the various groups that should be allowed to participate in this form of assisted suicide, I still believe everyone has a right to life. However, I believe that the most suitable patients to undergo this procedure include the patients undergoing hospice care. This is the type of care given to the patients who possess terminal illness. It includes taking care of the emotional and spiritual needs of the patients. I consider such patients as those who have already given up on the positive prognosis of their disease process. It is therefore fair that such individuals be saved from the prolonged endurance of the disease process by ending their life. However, it should be noted that this process should be done with the utmost goodwill of the patient and not as a way to prevent caring for these patients. Such patients should be allowed to decide on the view regarding life and whether they should end it.

An illustration of such a case of hospice care is in the article about Harry. He had cancer, and after the progression of the disease process, he suffered a fracture of ribs. This led him to palliative care. However, regardless of his need to end his life, the laws of the country prohibited the process (Howard 4). He, therefore, had to do it in secrecy to the extent of protecting the members of his family against future accusations for having assisted in his surgery. This prevented him from spending his last minutes with his family. The government should, therefore, allow this process to the individuals who have gotten to the acceptance stage regarding there disease prognosis. This helps in preventing unnecessary suffering.


Regarding the penalties on the patient assisted suicide, this should still be maintained as they are the key to ensuring the physicians don’t abandon their role in the delivery of care. The penalties also ensure that the physicians do not participate in an unlawful ending of life. These penalties are the critical components in ensuring that the life of the patients is guided. They ensure that the laws put in place about the euthanasia are followed ( Carrisa, 2). This is because the physician may fear to participate in any unlawful process of ending a patient’s life due to the fear of facing the penalties. These processes have been though to prevent any multi practices regarding physician-assisted death.

One of how physician-assisted death has been proven to be detrimental to the society is through an article about a physician who dispensed drugs to patients that are considered to be an ultimate end to the suffering caused by diseases. Regarding this, the physician was observed to be given drugs that end life to not only terminally ill patients but also patients who showed agony and so much pain (Bob 3). This resulted in various individuals ending their life such as an individual who had ALS and decided to take his life. The physician recorded the video of the process of ending life and aired it to the public. It is therefore evident that it is only through penalties on these multi practices that such multi practices can be limited.

Morals and Ethics.

Most individuals consider this form of mercy killing as an act of kindness. They argue that, when an individual faces immense suffering, he or she has the right to request his or her physician to assist in ending their life. They, therefore, consider it as a form of morally upright procedure. One of the morals stated is that regardless of the physician's role in enhancing the care of an individual, they should not feel indebted to prolong the life of an individual whose inner desire is to enhance the quality of care (Kevin 5). The physicians not only have a role to ensure the physical well-being of the patient but also to ensure the emotional status of the patient. It is, therefore, the role of the physicians to meet the emotional needs that may include the ending of the patient’s life to prevent prolonged suffering in a terminally ill patient.

One of the other roles of the physician is to ensure that ethical standards are followed when carrying out the process of assisted death. These ethical considerations include ascertaining that the process is the will of the patient and informed consent is obtained. The physician should ensure that the decision to end life is not for selfish gains such as stopping medications.

It is therefore vital for the physicians to ensure that they adhere to the ethical and morals standards before contemplating on carrying out physician-assisted suicide. This helps in ensuring that the rights of the patients are not undermined.

In conclusion, patients undergoing chronic life-threatening illnesses while in their terminal phase, they require compassionate and comprehensive care for freedom from symptoms and agony as well as social, psychological, and spiritual distress to have a decent death. Moreover, medical practitioners have a crucial part in the process that can either be rewarding experience or learning for the physician working in doctor-assisted suicide in all context of clinical training, education, services, and research. Therefore, they should have a comprehensive knowledge of determining when to provide lethal medication to their client while considering the moral and ethical issues surrounding their profession.


Bob Smietana (2016). Most Americans say assisted suicide is morally acceptable. Lifeway research. Facts and Trends magazine. P3

Carissa Zukowski (2014). Physician-assisted suicide should be legalized. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins.p2

Howard Ball (2012). Physician-Assisted Death in America: Ethics, Law, and Policy Conflicts. Last choice: death and dignity in the United States.p4

Kevin, Drum (2016). My right to die. California. Mother Johns publishers. p3

August 21, 2023

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