The topic that I will consider in this assignment is “Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia”, which pertains to the category of End of life. The topic is interesting to me mainly because views on this operation do not converge in the medical communities of different countries. While euthanasia is considered illegal in the United States, other countries provide patients with the possibility of suicide under the supervision of a medical professional. The main argument in favor of euthanasia is that it stops the pain of suffering people (Kaczor, 2020). This position is counter-argued by the fact that euthanasia violates the Hippocratic oath (Grant et al., 2018). In this study, I will support the possibility of a person being euthanized. Ethical egoism supports my stance because it supports the idea that an individual is expected to behave in activities that strive to satisfy self-interest (Fang & Slavin, 2018)
I believe that people should be granted the right of self-determination to the point that they can choose whether to continue their life or end it. Kaczor explains human nature without separating it from the inherent dignity of human beings, endowing a person with a higher moral status than other biological beings (2020). Thus, legal consent to euthanasia helps a person remove the financial and psychological burden from their relatives and not spend society’s funds on treating those who are doomed to death. Physician-assisted suicide has already been legalized in several countries, such as, for example, Canada, which has allowed euthanasia since 2016 (Pesut et al., 2020). It proves that the system can work at the state level and not cause mass social unrest.
Nevertheless, there is also an opposite point of view, which implies that allowing physician-assisted suicide goes against medical ethics. The very assumption of euthanasia implies that the doctor assesses the patient’s situation from the standpoint of a “worthy of living” and “unworthy of living”, which contradicts the Hippocratic oath (Grant et al., 2018). Euthanasia also implies that incompetent medical personnel may use it based on inhumane reasons. Thus, opponents of euthanasia also have a strong argument and are the main reason euthanasia remains illegal in many countries.
Fang, J., & Slavin, N. (2018). Ethics–comparing ethical egoism with Confucius’s Golden Rule. Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 22(1), 17-31. Web.
Grant, B., Drew, J., & Christensen, H. E. (Eds.). (2018). Applied ethics in the fractured state. Emerald Group Publishing. Web.
Kaczor, C. (2020). Disputes in bioethics: Abortion, euthanasia, and other controversies. University of Notre Dame Press. Web.
Pesut, B., Greig, M., Thorne, S., Storch, J., Burgess, M., Tishelman, C., Chambaere, C. & Janke, R. (2020). Nursing and euthanasia: A narrative review of the nursing ethics literature. Nursing ethics, 27(1), 152-167. Web.