Disagree: Physician Assisted Suicide

Do you disagree with physician assisted suicide?  First we need to define what it is: Physician assisted suicide is when a physician provides the means for death, usually through a prescription.  This means that the patient, not the physician, will ultimately kill themselves.  This is different than euthanasia, which is when the physician directly administers the lethal substance.  The reasons against physician assisted suicide include: sanctity of life, negative impact on professional integrity, and potential of abuse.  These arguments support the idea that physician assisted suicide should not be tolerated within our society.

The sanctity of human life is violated when a physician is enabled to provide the means for a patient to kill them self.  In our society, many religious and traditional beliefs support the value that taking another’s life is wrong.  Assisted suicide is an active way of killing a person, and this contradicts these values.  However, physicians’ actions are justifiable to passively kill a patient; this occurs when the patient refuses treatment, which then causes their death. To help preserve the sanctity of life, physician assisted suicide must continue to be forbidden.

Additionally, professional integrity of physicians will not be maintained if assisted suicide is legalized.  Medicine’s ethical traditions strongly oppose the destruction of life; the Hippocratic oath says, “I will not administer poison to anyone where asked … Be of benefit, or at least do no harm”.  Also, the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the major professional organizations, oppose assisted suicide.  Furthermore, even physicians are fallible; there may be mistakes or uncertainty with a diagnosis and prognosis.  This means that with the legalization of physician assisted suicide, patients who were misdiagnosed may choose to kill themselves due to an error.  It is necessary that inevitable mistakes do not cause suicides and the integrity of the physicians is preserved.

There is also a potential for abuse if physician assisted suicide becomes legal.  People that lack access to effective care and support may choose to go down the path of assisted suicide even though unknown alternative options exist.  Families and patients may give in to death to easily even though there is still the possibility of recovery.  In addition, insurance companies would likely pressure doctors to encourage assisted suicide for certain cases to minimize costs.  The power that doctors would gain from allowing assisted suicide could be abused as well.  A doctor may choose to play God and advise that a patient consider assisted suicide because they believe that the resources that would be spent on this patient could be better spent otherwise.  There are an array of potential problems that legalizing physician assisted suicide would create.

It should not be made legal because it violates many values.  The sanctity of life and the Hippocratic oath support the idea that assisted suicide should not be enabled.  Diagnostic errors and the potentials for abuse could force many patients to choose death, when they lack a complete perspective of their outcome or they are making their decision on false information.  These are the reasons that physician assisted suicide should remain illegal.


[…] Disagree […]

May 28th, 2009 8:56 am

I disagree as well. Any type of assisted suicide is wrong, whether it be Physician or someone else.

June 30th, 2009 11:00 am

I disagree with Physician Assisted Suicide. I think that you have no right to end your own life, let alone someone help you do it. What if that person is not mentally stable, they go to the doctor, tell him that they want to die. He gives them the tools to do it. Its really stupid.

November 17th, 2009 12:39 pm

Physician assisted suicide is really a bad idea. no matter whether the person is mentally stable or not, a doctor should not help them end their life. It should termionate Physicians’ license if the do practice assisted suicide.

January 4th, 2010 10:26 pm

I am a strong advocate of both PAS and euthanasia. I worked as an EMT for 3 years prior to becoming a nurse. For the past 7 yrs I have been a hospice nurse and have worked with hundreds of terminaly ill pt.s. There is an old Indian saying: Only those who’ve walked in my moccasins know my story. Some pt.s are very fortunate and have little pain or pain on a level they can tolerate. But there are those that no known pain meds can reduce their pain to a level they can handle, only sedation, keeping them medicated so they are out of it or sleeping. You have never experienced pain to such a level as they endure every waking moment, you judge without experienceing. It is their life and they should be allowed to decided when they have taken all they can mentally and physical stand. How many of you would put your family dog to sleep at the vets if it had nontreatable cancer and was yelping constantly in pain? Why are you more compassionate to your dog then your loved one?

January 22nd, 2010 2:50 am

Anyone who disagrees is obviously ignorant of rational decision making and deserves to be stripped of any type of opportunity to interact with the outside world. I mean come on, it should clearly be their choice. haha it wasnt their choice to come into this world, at least let the decide their death. idiots…

May 2nd, 2010 8:58 pm

Obviously, the main opinion is disagreement with such an unfeasible topic. The reason is, medical ethics requires that a physician do whatever it takes to save the person’s life. Any assisted suicide, can simply be seen as killing, and thus taking a person’s life. This goes against the what is clearly outlined in medical ethics. Compassion here, is not an issue, being a doctor, and doing a doctor’s duty is. Also, as for Lamiter, anyone who agrees or disagrees, and supports it with a reason, is not ignorant of rational thinking. Quick assumptions like that, are what make you an irrational person.

January 15th, 2015 3:26 pm

I believe that the decision should lie in the hands of the patient no the federal law/state law because either way it there personal choice if they want to continue living and see through the pain then that’s their choice but if the patients want to end their life and stop their suffering and pain that they have had to go through the that’s their choice and also they may have family that they don’t want to suffer with them so they make take Physicians Assisted Suicide to ease their pain and others pain around them to. I t would be based on their judgment not on some law that makes you suffer than die from an even worse death.

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