Assisted Suicide the Issues Susan Wolf Raises Research Paper

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Assisted Suicide

The issues Susan Wolf raises surrounding the events concerning the death of her father suggest a multitude of controversial questions that delve into many gray areas of what we value as human beings and a society. The instinct for self preservation is strong and many belief systems teach that suicide and assisted suicide is wrong regardless of the circumstances, however life is messy and the line between right and wrong is often blurred.

If I were in Wolf's place I would feel obligated to begin by reviewing the facts of the situation. At the time of his final hospitalizations her father was 79 years-old with a five-year history of metastatic thyroid cancer plus emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During his initial battle with metastatic head and neck cancer in 2002 her father had "argued that the Holocaust was incompatible with the existence of God. There is no afterlife. This is it, and he wanted every last bit of "it" on any terms" (Wolf, 2008). At this point he wanted all avenues explored and no effort spared.

In 2007 her father took a turn for the worse. He became increasingly weak and his powers of concentration began to diminish until he decided he wanted to stop the tube feeding. It is at this point that the situation becomes complicated. Wolf reports the reason he gives for wanting to remove the feeding tube is that he feels he is becoming a burden. Furthermore the doctors advised him not to follow this course of action, saying he "would suffer a painful death, that morphine would be required to control the discomfort, and that my father would lose consciousness before the day was out" (Wolf, 2008). They failed to assure him that there are methods designed to support his comfort if he did demand the feeding tubes be replaced. Because of this he decided to "solider on." Later he would reveal that he regretted this change of heart.

As his condition continued to deteriorate her father became more dependent on others to ensure his everyday survival. Eventually he developed a gastric bleed that required a transfusion of most of his blood. This led him to ask for and consider all of his options, and he decided once again to suspend treatment. Furthermore, he wanted to accelerate the process. The question then becomes does her father have the right to seek a quicker path to the inevitable?

Discussion

The main consideration at this point should be the patient's quality of life. Johansson, Axelsson, and Danielson (2005) found that patient's with incurable cancer indentified five themes of relivance relating to quality of life. These include the ability to lead an ordinary life, maintain significant realtions, maintain a positive life, alieviate suffering, and manage their lives when ill.

Leading an ordinary life was described as the abilty to appreciate normal things and to feel functional. The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Assisted Suicide the Issues Susan Wolf Raises.  (2012, January 8).  Retrieved December 12, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/assisted-suicide-issues-susan-wolf/8028497

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"Assisted Suicide the Issues Susan Wolf Raises."  Essaytown.com.  January 8, 2012.  Accessed December 12, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/assisted-suicide-issues-susan-wolf/8028497.