ETHC445N Assisted Suicide Case Study Assignment Help
Running Head: ASSISTED SUICIDE 1
ASSISTED SUICIDE 2
The society has come to terms with the fact that the human life has a predetermined end which need not be preserved because a treatment might be in existence. This has sparked a mixed reaction both national and internationally on matters of any individual being able to determine the time and nature of their death. This sparked the interest of assisted suicide whereby an individual can choose death through assisted means for example by a medical practitioner. However, there are proponents and opponents of assisted suicide. The opponents are mostly Christians who argue that life is God given and only God can take away the life of a human being. The proponents however argue that if an individual is suffering and without any chances of survival or even being cured, then the individual should be allowed to make a choice of dying with assisted means.
The proponents argue that it is very bad to watch a suffering patient who does not have any hope of recovering. They give the following moral reasons for proposing assisted suicide; relief of suffering- the main aim of medicine has always been to relive the patient’s suffering from diseases and illnesses. They argue that relieving the suffering of a patient through lethal ingestion is humane and compassionate, if the patient is dying and the suffering is refractory. They also argue death through assisted means ensure death through a way that suicide by other means cannot (Dugdale et al., 2019). This assisted death also follows some rules which include the fact that the patient will be free of coercion and able to ingest the lethal medication themselves.
The opponents of the assisted suicide however argue in the following moral and ethical ways; suicide contagion-this argument states that if there is death by assisted means, there is likely to be more deaths by suicide regardless of whether the suicide is assisted or not. For instance, if a certain individual dies by assisted suicide means, then research shows that individuals with the same demographics with the one who just died are likely to commit suicide too. They also argue through the depression in advanced illnesses reason (Paterson, 2017). This explains that some patients who are in dire need of assisted deaths are often patients of cancer and depression. The opponents of assisted suicide argue that if a patient suffering from depression choses to under death through assisted means might have chosen the assisted suicide without the knowledge and consent of their real reasoning and die out of the effects of depression and stress.
Ethical Egoist view
Ethical egoist view on the assisted suicide would always argue against the assisted suicide because; they always propose that if any act does not benefit the doer, then it is not supposed to be done. But in this case, there is no clear cut line on who is the doer of the assisted suicide, is it the individual who is being assisted to die or the one assisting in the suicide. As such, there is no clear side that the ethical egoists take (Thames, 2018). This is because, if the doer in this context is the one assisting the suicide, then the ethical egoist will be against the assisted suicide because it does not benefit that particular individual but if the doer perceived in this context is the patient, then the ethical egoists would support it because the benefits of the act might be relieving pain on the patient. Therefore, the ethical egoists would always be neutral depending on the understanding of the issue.
Social Contract Ethicist view point
A Social Contrast Ethicist would have it that if anything that is being done is acceptable by all the human beings in that particular locality, and then it should be a question of doing it for the right purposes. For instance, the assisted suicide issue, for the social contrast ethicists, they would allow and accept it only and only if it is accordance with an agreement that establishes moral and political rules of behavior. So, if the assisted suicide is conducted in accordance to a certain social contrast, then people can live morally by our own choice and not because a divine being requires it. By this explanation, the social contract ethicist would take a neutral position, because their proposition or opposition is dependent on how the assisted suicide is conducted. To support their moral position of neutrality, the social contract ethicist would bring in the argument of the fact that what matters is not the assisted suicide itself but on how the assisted suicide is conducted.
Assisted suicide has a collision between personal obligations and national obligations. The national obligations include the state always acting in the best interests of the citizens. But personally, how would I allow my loved one go through assisted suicide? Assisted suicide might have positive effects on the patient who is experiencing the pain and might not fully recover or even recover at all, but how will the people left behind deal with it? The best course of action is always trying to put into consideration, the feelings of all the parties involved, that is, the individual who needs the assisted suicide and the kins of that particular person.
Dugdale, L. S., Lerner, B. H., & Callahan, D. (2019). Focus: Death: Pros and Cons of Physician Aid in Dying. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 92(4), 747.
Paterson, C. (2017). Assisted suicide and euthanasia: a natural law ethics approach. Routledge.
Rachels, S., & Rachels, J. (2019). The elements of moral philosophy (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.
Thames, B. (2018). How Should One Live? An Introduction to Ethics and Moral Reasoning.