Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

The notions of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAC) have been a topic for continuous discussion for decades, with no person able to draw a definite conclusion on the ethical weight of such a patient’s decision. According to Wells et al. (2013), euthanasia stands for the decision of either termination of treatment or deliberate medical interference with the goal of ending the life of a patient with a terminal health condition. Frequently, the notions of PAC and euthanasia are substituted with the broader concept of suicide, generally frowned upon in society. I agree with the generally accepted idea that the medical community is mainly opposed to the legalization of active euthanasia and PAC (Grand Canyon University, 2020). Indeed, such a position makes sense in the context of modern health care, where laws and legislations are easily manipulated, and physicians are to combine the ethical consideration of autonomy with the concepts of beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice (Grand Canyon University, 2020). However, the very idea of deliberate life termination should be by no means regarded as a sin or a sign of one’s competence.

The reason of being born in God’s image and listening to God in terms of the longitude of one’s life is not enough to claim a suicide attempt to be a sin. Indeed, people prone to commit suicide most frequently struggle with various physical and mental issues. However, the timely assessment of suicidal behaviors and the therapist’s intervention may prevent suicide and one’s deliberate decision to refuse treatment (World Health Organization, 2021). Thus, it may be concluded that the notions of euthanasia and PAC, although professionally and ethically challenging for clinicians, should be by no means perceived as a sin. One’s decision to terminate life is always a result of others’ failure to recognize mental precursors leading to suicidal behavior.

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References

Grand Canyon University. (2020). Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care [E-book]. Web.

Wells, K. R., Frey, R. J., & Cataldo, L. J. (2013). Euthanasia. In The Gale encyclopedia of nursing and allied health (Gale (Ed.)., 3rd ed.). Gale. Web.

World Health Organization. (2021). Suicide worldwide in 2019 [PDF document].

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AssignZen. "Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide." September 27, 2022. https://assignzen.com/euthanasia-and-physician-assisted-suicide/.

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