Essay Moral and Ethics: Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
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Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are actions that hit at the core of what it means to be human - the moral and ethical actions that make us who we are, or who we ought to be. Euthanasia, a subject that is so well known in the twenty-first century, is subject to many discussions about ethical permissibility which date back to as far as ancient Greece and Rome , where euthanasia was practiced rather frequently. It was not until the Hippocratic School removed it from medical practice. Euthanasia in itself raises many ethical dilemmas – such as, is it ethical for a doctor to assist a terminally ill patient in ending his life? Under what circumstances, if any, is euthanasia considered ethically appropriate? More so, euthanasia raises…show more content…
More so, the usage of the Internet and other global media has expanded the ability of patients to have access to an enormous amount of information about diseased previously thought “too technical” requiring government policy that sought to limit the control and influence of physicians.
In 1994, Oregon voters passed the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which exempted, “from civil or criminal liability physicians who, in compliance with specific safeguards, dispense or prescribe (but not administer) a lethal dose of drugs upon the request of the terminally ill patient.” Oregon, to this day, remains the only state within the Union to allow physician-assisted suicide. In 1997, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a landmark case that, although there was no constitutionally protected right to physician-assisted suicide, states have permitted to pass laws allowing it. Thus, the issue of euthanasia remains widely open to philosophical, political, legal, and ethical challenges.
The lack of consensus; thereof, in American society on the ethical question of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide could be attributed solely to the incredibly complexity and gravity of the issue. Therefore, in this study I will suggest, explore, and discuss that part of the ethical problem with euthanasia is under what circumstances, if any,