Biological Aspects of Aging Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2241 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Therefore, I favor assisted suicide (since a patient is taking responsibility for his own death) as well as voluntary euthanasia, whether it is passive or aggressive. I do not believe in preventing people from performing actions which only affect them; I believe that doing so is an infringement of the virtues of liberty that this country was founded upon. However, I also believe that there are situations in which involuntary euthanasia is acceptable, whether it is active or passive. Yet these situations require careful, critical discernment, in order to ensure that there are no ulterior motives involved and that the people who are favoring euthanasia actually have the best interest of the recipient at hand. Most of these situations involve incapacitation, such as if a patient is in a lengthy coma or in some otherwise incognizant, vegetative state.

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However, when discussing the intentions of those others who advocate involuntary euthanasia, one comes across a very interesting point which relates to assisted suicide as well. Either of these situations can present large degrees of equivocality which can influence the decisions of the patient (in the latter situation), as well as those of friends and family members (in the former situation). In both situations, these people are reliant upon physicians and medical personnel for sound advice and diagnoses in order to determine chances for a fruitful life and possible recovery from a threatening condition, or the unlikelihood of any positive occurrences for what remainder of life exists for a patient. The knowledge I have learned from this class in regards to this aspect of euthanasia and assisted suicide reveals that the intentions, objectives, and motives of healthcare personnel is rarely transparent, and can be difficult to understand. The worse situation of all is if, in the case of either euthanasia or assisted suicide, medical personnel mislead (whether deliberately or not) patients and family members by presenting biased or erroneous information that affects the decisions of those people regarding life and death.

Term Paper on Biological Aspects of Aging I Assignment

Although I advocate assisted suicide if it reflects the will of the patient, I would be greatly opposed to this action if medical personnel disseminated information to a patient that was based on reasons other than those that directly relate to that patient and his situation, such as attempts to reduce costs or to advance healthcare system boons that do not pertain to the patient. The danger is that for the most part, patients and elderly people typically are not aware of means of suicide in medical facilities, and even if they are, they need the help of medical personnel to carry out such an action. The motives of those medical personnel should ideally be in alignment with their principle duty -- to assist the patient -- and hopefully do not include anything else when assisted suicide is enacted.

This concern, however, becomes magnified when one considers the possibility of "impure" or selfish motives that may exist during the enactment of involuntary euthanasia. Quite simply, there is an increased likelihood for such motives due to the fact that there are more parties involved. The great danger in this situation lies in the fact that if a patient happens to be incapacitated and cannot voice or indicate his or her will, he or she can potentially be taken advantage of due to the intentions of others.

However, for the most part, the information that I have learned from this course reveals that most acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide or simply acts of mercy, in which the prolongation of a person's suffering is ended to benefit that person as well as those others who suffer along with him or her. When the motives of those involved in these acts are in alignment with that of the person to die, then I completely condone them. Additionally, taking this course has helped me to realize that the agony in such a situation is not solely reserved for the patient, but also extends itself to close family members and friends for whom it is difficult to watch another suffer. Therefore, I am in favor of both euthanasia and assisted suicide, although I am weary of the intentions of outsiders (meaning physicians and family members) as they participate in those acts.


Ferrini, R.L., Ferrini, A.F. (2008). Health in the Later Years. New York: McGraw-Hill.

No author. (2001). "Types of euthanasia." Retrieved from [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Biological Aspects of Aging" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Biological Aspects of Aging.  (2012, November 14).  Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Biological Aspects of Aging."  14 November 2012.  Web.  21 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Biological Aspects of Aging."  November 14, 2012.  Accessed September 21, 2020.