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Free Essays on Euthanasia: Assisted Suicide Violates the Physicians’ Oath

Assisted Suicide Violates the Physicians’ Oath

A patient falls ill in one of Voltaire’s philosophical tales and the

author observes: “Despite the attention and ministrations of the leading

medical doctors of Europe, he survived.”

This is the sardonic wit we should apply to a debate today: Should a

physician who has sworn to do no harm be allowed, legally, to help a

patient kill himself with prescribed lethal doses of barbiturates? This is

not about Dr. Kevorkian, the infamous Dr. Death, now serving a prison term

for murder. The courts finally would not accept his oxymoronic euphemism

of “assisted suicide.” (You can wound the language as well as the person.)

Physicians in Oregon, however, can become doctors of death under state

law, having received the imprimatur of the people in a statewide

referendum. But such doctors still need the help of the feds. Federal law

trumps state law in the administration of drugs under the Controlled

Substances Act, which governs powerful prescription drugs like morphine

that alleviate pain, but which can also kill.

Loophole-lovers, aware of the problem, sought a federal accomplice for

“assisted suicide” in Oregon and found one in Janet Reno, the attorney

general in the Clinton administration. She gave them a pass, promising not

to prosecute. John Ashcroft, who replaced her, has reversed that, and a

federal judge has stayed his decision, at least temporarily.

There are two issues here. One is philosophical in its consideration of

life and death issues. The other is legalistic and constitutional, whether

a state’s rights in this matter should supersede federal authority. Like

most of our most complex decisions, liberal and conservative attitudes

conflict and overlap. Black and white reasoning is simplistic and

inadequate. There are shades of gray in both arguments. (There’s no

rainbow here.)

Certain professors of medicine argue that when a patient is dying in great

pain, and chooses to end both pain and life, a doctor in good conscience

should be able to relieve the agony and abide by the patient’s wishes. But

even if the doctor doesn’t intend for a patient to die, he can

accidentally kill if he administers dosages high enough to alleviate

excruciating pain.

Hence, John Ashcroft’s policy could make doctors fear prosecution,

curtailing their ability even to prescribe the necessary dosages for pain

medication. Consider what you would want for your mother or father, your

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia Evaluation How much do you trust your physician? Do you trust them enough to put the faith of your life in their hands? The focus of this evaluation is on euthanasia, or also known as physician assisted suicide. Physician assisted suicide is the practice of putting the end to a terminally ill person who requested this option. Should euthanasia be legalized? The practice of euthanasia is becoming more and more widely accepted around the world today and yet, it continues to be a topic of huge controversy. Euthanasia basically gives a person the right to end their life by allowing someone else (in this case the physician). An article written by Dr. Paul J. van der Maas called the “Evaluation of the Notification Procedure for Physician-Assisted Death in the Netherlands” talks more in depth about this subject. Maas is pro physician assisted suicide. He does not see any harm or injustice to cases related to physician assisted suicide. Maas’s article on pro physician assistance suicide proves to be highly effective through the uses of ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos is used in the article which makes Maas’s arguments stronger and valid. Maas has a Ph. D and M.D, so he establishes his credibility through that. Not only that, but Maas, alongside with several other doctors, performed experiments and surveys to see just how many physicians actually practiced physician assisted suicide. This shows that it is not just one doctor that approves of this option or has this belief; there are many others. This also makes his side of the argument stronger and provides evidence. Also, he has many resources and important contacts such as the Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine and the Department of General Practice, Nursing… … middle of paper … … and “terminally ill”. Words like this make readers feel pity and empathy. Maas appeals to the readers emotionally which makes his argument more effective. Dr. Maas is pro physician assisted suicide. He believes there is no harm in allowing euthanasia to be legalized. He makes strong arguments as to why. His article is clear, concise, and flows smoothly. It is easy for readers to comprehend. Maas provides detailed documentation about the research he and his colleagues conducted. He is a doctor and knows what he is talking about. With the help of ethos, logos, and pathos, Maas provides a strong argument as to why he is pro physician assistance suicide. Works Cited maas, Dr. Paul J. van der. “Evaluation of the Notification Procedure for Physician Assistance Death in the Netherlands.” The New England Journal of Medicine (1996).

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