Most Controversial Topic – Physician Assisted Suicide

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Physician Assisted Suicide is one of the most controversial topics around the world today. Even though it is legal in many parts around the world, there are still various parts that are opting out from partaking in the roles of physician assisted suicide. No matter where physician assisted suicide is taking place, all personnel involved must be cautious, educated, and follow strict guidelines when communicating or treating patients under this topic.

For many decades, physician assisted suicide has been a known topic around the entire world.

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In some parts of the world physician assisted suicide is legal and in other parts, it is a topic that many refuses to make legal or bring up. Many questions have risen about physician assisted suicide and concerns of the topic are still ongoing today. The controversy of legalizing physician assisted suicide has took place on many levels, including politics. Furthermore, even though physician assisted suicide is not legal around the entire world, all individuals who are involved must meet certain criteria and follow strict guidelines when receiving or giving advice and treatment ensure proper protection.

Suicide alone is unacceptable to many and causes tragedy to all. Many people who commit suicide are individuals whom have experienced trauma or are mentally ill. The individuals who commit suicide often feel lonely and do not seek treatment because they believe that ending their life is the best and only option. The definition of physician assisted suicide is the intentional act to end the individual’s life with the assistance of a physician. The controversy of this topic continues to arise in many parts of the world today.

The beliefs, opinions, understandings, and views are different for all individuals throughout the world. To many individuals, physician assisted suicide is not moral, as to others who believe that it is. Many individuals that want to take part in physician assisted suicide are or have experienced a life changing event. Events are not limited to a severe illness or trauma that the patient has went through or is currently going through.

The beliefs, understandings, and views are different regarding physician assisted suicide for all individuals. Many individuals may share a similar belief or view, but no two beliefs or views are identical. The understandings of family and friends may vary from person or physician views. Often, if the beliefs and views are not accustomed to the individual, there may be conflict between the individual who wants to take part in physician assisted suicide and their family member(s) and friend(s), as well as the physician that may have been asked to assist in the suicide.

If the physician is close with the patient, the patient may feel like the physician will help them with anything that they may ask. However, if the patient brings up the solution to ending their life with the help of their close friend who is the physician, the physician has the option to refuse. More than likely the physician will refuse, and this will later be the starting to the rise of the conflict between the patient and the physician. The conflict would then need to be handled in the proper manner that would be set at the federal or state level.

When taking the time to get together and discuss physician assisted suicide with other individuals, the person who wants to take part in the suicide, should want to be considerate and listen to all individual beliefs. Everyone from the patient to the physician and other family members or friends need know the considerations that are being ask. Family members and friends should pay attention to early signs of suicide recognition of the patient.

According to Snyder, medicalizing a death does not address the needs of dying patients and their families. A medicalized death in the beliefs and views of many is a wrongdoing, and the physician must follow the proper protocol for addressing this matter with the patient, family, and friends. Therefore, going further with the belief of Snyder, it should be addressed to the patient, family, and friends, that the process of dying has steps.

Although a patient may be experiencing a life-changing situation, such as a disease, the patient should want to accept resources provided to them. This should be a need even though the patient may have a uncurable disease such as cancer, HIV, or any other diseases. At this point the patient, as well as the physician would know that the patient would later die. However, providing the best of care and providing information for the resources needed may help ease the mind of the patient, family members, and friends. This would also be good for the physician and other staff to know that they did their part by making sure that the patient, the family members, and friends received the adequate help that they needed.

Rather than just stating that the patient is passing in medical terms, the physician should explain all steps in the very basic clarifications, so that all individuals can understand. The support provided to all individuals at this time is not only crucial, but it is beneficial for those involved, as that not all involved will be taking it and viewing it the same. The physician should want to be encouraging in a positive manner to all individuals involved, along with letting them know that he or she will be there if any questions or concerns should arise.

Along with the support and clarifications from the physician, he or she should encourage the individual who is seeking physician assisted suicide to reach out and get more than just one opinion. The prolonging of life should be the main goal for the physician and the other staff. Educating the patient, friends, and family members about the condition(s) that the patient is facing, and the methods of going through to get better should also serve as a primary focus.

Obtaining more than one opinion and being provided with additional information will be beneficial to the patient seeking this assistance, as well as providing additional information to the family and friends. The physician and other staff should lend a hand to all individuals involved and let them know that there are other options, rather just ending the life of the patient at said instant. The physician and all other staff members need to be willing to listen to the views of the patient and family or friends. The family and friends need to know that they have support when the patient passes, as well as, having support if the patient were to do something harmful to his or herself.

Additional options after acquiring further opinions include but are not limited to meditation and therapy. These options can be completed in a group or solo. The physician and family or friends may encourage the patient to join a group if they feel lonely often. The family, friends, and physician could also be willing to offer attending meetings with the patient or just join in on a simple visit between them, if the patient prefers. Educating the patient is the greatest step to prolonging the patient’s life, following guidance and support.

When educating about therapy, physicians and other staff can give a variety of options to the patient. Advice may include going to a different location, natural remedies, medication options, psychiatrists and therapist options. Other sources may include, evaluating the emotional, financial, monetary, and spiritual burdens that the patient may be experiencing or going through,

The controversy of physician assisted suicide continues to expand throughout the world. In many parts, physician assisted suicide is still not legal. There are many pros and cons that evolve around physician assisted suicide. Some pros include helping patients find resources they need, answering questions that they may have about their health or any other general question, and getting help for other loved ones that are in need.

There are also many cons that comes with physician assisted suicide. The greatest concern would be the risk that the physician and other staff face while helping thee patients, family members, and friends.

With the questions arising around the controversy of physician assisted suicide, there is also great concerns for the integrity of the physician, as well as for the trust of the patient. Physician assisted suicide undermines the integrity of the physician, leaving the patient in a contradiction when seeking to be well. This undermining also lessens the trust of the patient with the physician.

Following the controversy of physician assisted suicide and as it becomes legal in more place around the world, strict guidelines and laws must be enforced. The guidelines and laws will protect all individuals involved, as well as enforcing regulations for protecting the states on both federal and state levels. The patient, as well as the physician must have separate protection statuses and must be notified at the beginning of the initial visit of the patient. In agreeance of the patient receiving advice or treatment, there must be a contract put into place that protects all individuals involved.

The defining of etymologically is that compassion needs to be shown to an individual who is suffering and remaining with a dying patient is an essence of non-abandonment. This includes when a patient is suffering on many levels. Levels such as existential, interpersonal, and spiritual. The concentration of the levels varies on the individual, as no two individuals are alike.

These levels of suffering depend on a variety of care and it is important for the patient’s family, friends, and physician to be involved in the support. Being there for the patient, asking questions, and keeping them safe from all harm are goals that should be implemented and set by family members and friends. If anything were to ascend, then the family members and friends could consult with the physician.

When an individual is experiencing thoughts of ending his or her life, with or without physician assistance, the individual should take immediate action to get help. The patient should seek direct needs, as well as becoming educated on self-care. This is very important and essential to the individual. Preparing ahead can save time and lives during the difficult times when individuals happen to experience them. The necessary knowledge and the practicing of skills to be well-prepared will help everyone that will become involved.

One important role in self-care for the patient could be keeping the national hotline in a handy and quick place. This would eliminate the searching of the resource and number when the individual is experiencing an episode of bad thoughts or having a difficult time. Also, self-care of counting backwards from ten down to zero can efficiently help calm the individual. The counting can help relax the individual.

The greatest conflict of the controversy regarding physician assisted suicide is that it is not ethically moral accepted nor is in the beliefs of most individuals. For many, it is against their religion. When it is against their religion, many individuals include all members of their family and often include their friends. Many patients want their health privacy and data to be confidential. Confidentiality is one of the oldest issues of medical ethics, according to Veatch.

There are some patients that may be embarrassed about their health and they do have the option to keep their information secure from family and friends. When the patient asks the physician to be confidential, the physician must be. However, if they are not, he or she will be in beach of the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act ensures that all patient information will be held securely and if not, there are severe consequences that individuals will face.

According to Jaret, he like many others believe that there should be strict guidelines for physician assisted suicide. Jaret said that he absolutely believes that the patient may not know what to decide when they are still somewhat healthy. However, even though the patient has the believe that they are terminally ill, ending their life would not be the best informal decision.

Like Jaret, there are many individuals that believe physician assisted suicide is not morally acceptable, nor should a physician be able to make simple decisions for a patient. Physician assisted suicide is not a simple decision. Today with physician assisted suicide being such a controversial subject, physicians and other staff should not want to become involved. To work so hard for their credentialing and licensure, should be a great reminder that they need to shy away from subjects like physician assisted suicide.

The physician should not be able to give legal advice or details with the patients without going through extensive training. There also should be more qualifications on federal and state levels for anyone who wants to become involved in physician assisted suicide. According to Byock, exclusions on medical practice protect defenseless patients from the power that doctors exert due to their knowledge and skills.

People of all ages and individuals that have permanent disabilities, may worry about what their future may hold if they become terminally ill. Byock believes that doctors might see patients and their lives as not worth living and act sympathetically to end their supposed illness and misery. Some individuals are weaker than others and this may seem like an advantage to physicians out there that are acting upon a designated request by the patient, without first educating the patient.

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Most Controversial Topic - Physician Assisted Suicide. (2019, Jun 12). Retrieved from