Ethical aspects of physician assisted suicide: All sides

For many years, he has asserted his opposition to the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, preferring good end-of-life care as the best choice for the terminally ill. Just as Dr. Byock has done. What could be wrong then? Why has his name been mentioned as related to "death panels?" He certainly is upset that his views, in his opinion, have been misrepresented.

information for research on euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, living wills, mercy killing

About one third (35 percent) of physicians thought they might participate in assisted suicide if the practice were legalized; some others were uncertain. Among the 52 percent who would not participate themselves, many indicated that they would be willing to refer patients to practitioners who would. This parallels attitudes toward abortion in some respects; many physicians who oppose a medical action on moral grounds are nevertheless willing to make referrals out of respect for a patient's autonomy.

Physician-assisted suicide of patients with dementia

Physicians' personal experiences and values influence their positions on these issues. For example, the doctors who had the least contact with terminally ill patients were the most likely to support the legalization of assisted suicide, a finding consistent with the attitude of physicians in the state of Washington. The widely replicated finding that strongly religious people are the most likely group to oppose such legalization was as evident in our study among physicians as among all adults in Michigan. Of the doctors who were asked about the importance of religion in their lives, those who said it was “very important” were the least likely to support legalization. Nevertheless, half of them were still willing to choose between the two legalization plans, and they favored Plan B by a three-to-one margin. This suggests that among those with the greatest reservations about legalization, the additional safeguards in Plan B — palliative-care consultants and committees — made that plan more acceptable than Plan A.

The Morality and Legality of Physician Assisted Suicide

Two thirds of Michigan adults reported that they or their close friends or family members had been faced with a terminal illness, although having had such an experience was not linked to any overall differences in support for legalization or in the likelihood of requesting physician-assisted suicide ().

A Right to Die?: The Argument over Physician-Assisted Suicide

Secondly, the sanctity of life view must hold that life itself, whollyindependent of the happiness of the individual whose life it is, isvaluable. Many philosophers reject the notion that life isintrinsically valuable, since it suggests, e.g., that there is valuein keeping alive an individual in a persistent vegetative state simplybecause she is biologically alive. It would also suggest that a lifecertain to be filled with limitless suffering and anguish is valuablejust by virtue of being a human life. Peter Singer (1994) and othershave argued against the sanctity of life position on the grounds thatthe value of a continuing life is not intrinsic but extrinsic, to bejudged on the basis of the individual’s likely future quality oflife. If the value of a person’s continued life is measured byits likely quality, then suicide may be permissible when that qualityis low (see ) (This is not to suggest that quality of life assessments arestraightforward or uncontroversial. See Hayry 1991 fordiscussion).

The Moral Wrong of Physician-Assisted Suicide Alexander Schimpf

According to the author, “Indeed, physician-assisted suicide implies not a resistance to but an extension of medical power over life and death” (Salem)....

The Debate of Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Pros and …

10. Physician-assisted suicide: toward a comprehensive understanding: report of the Task Force on Physician-assisted Suicide of the Society for Health and Human Values. ;70:-