However, te question that arises in this context is – should a mental health practitioner be held to be responsible for failing to prevent suicide or is suicide an act whose responsibility must be solely placed at the door of the person who commits it? Pysician assisted suicide must be differentiated from euthanasia, were it is the medical practitioner himself/herself who makes the decision to end the patient’s life in order to end their suffering, epecially in cases where the patient is terminally ill or in a coma not capable of communicating a wish to die and end suffering.
Wile physician assisted suicide is carried out specifically on the request of the patient and therefore involves the autonomy of the patient, i the case of euthanasia, i is the doctor who makes the decision, smetimes on the basis of requests from family members of the patient, ad removes the patient from life support systems. () Physicians have a moral obligation to relieve the suffering of their patients. Tey generally accomplish this through use of medication and treatment.
those instances where medication and treatment that prolongs life will be inconsistent with the provision of relief, pysicians may be able to better relieve their patients’ suffering by shortening the life span of enduring of the suffering. () In some cases, ptients prefer physician assisted suicide to living on with their disabling condition. I such instances, aphysician has a moral obligation to respect the autonomous choice and decision of his/her patient to end their lives(d) A total refusal to consider physician assisted suicide is in fact a disservice a and equivalent to abandonment of the patient, snce most patients who are terminally ill may experience unbearable suffering and autonomously request physician assisted suicide.
O this basis therefore, i may be noted that the primary arguments in favor of physician assisted suicide are centered upon the individual autonomy of a patient to make his or her own decision about whether or not to continue living. Fr patients who are terminally ill and suffering a great deal, rlief from suffering through death is their only hope, snce they not wish continue to be dependent on others and continue to suffer.
A a result, te more merciful option from a moral perspective, apears to be to allow the patients to die through physician assisted suicide (Weir, 1997). Hwever, te converse argument is. ..
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