Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1736 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End- of -Life Policy or Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-Assisted Suicide

An analysis of the trend of healthcare in the U.S. indicates many factors ranging from economic, technological, and medical issues that have given rise to the concerns of terminal care and resultantly to the movement of assisted suicide. The movement has its base at the minimum in at least a couple of basic views and anticipations. In the era of technological medicine encouraged by the profit motive, death evolves at a high cost in terms of suffering and in individual economic loss. The failure or absence of the facilities to offer affordable resources with regard to terminal care is due to the marketplace prevailing in the health care. The profession of medicine has been really slow in reacting to the challenges offered by terminal care, primarily due to the marketplace pressures and absence of sufficient training. This has resulted at a moment of rapid progress with regard to life-sustaining treatment and increasing public recognition of personal rights under the rules. Excessive aggressive treatment in the last phases of terminal illness has increased the worries over a prolonged expensive and painful death. Such elements have encouraged the movement towards assisted suicide. (Rizzo, 2000)

Discussion:Download full Download Microsoft Word File
paper NOW!

Term Paper on Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide Assignment

It had been believed that it is basically developments in biomedical technology, particularly life saving technology that has generated never before public anxiety with regard to physician-assisted suicide. However, it has been argued against this notion that physician-assisted suicide have been sufficient ethical concerns faced by doctors ever since the inception of Western medicine, over the past two centuries. All the advocacies made presently in favor of or against the two practices were publicized prior to any the origin of any modern biomedical technology. (Emauel, 1997) in the year 1994, an American physician ethicist remarked that the arguments for and against physician-assisted suicide applied in the 19th century are quite similar to those we presently come across nowadays. He arrived at the conclusion that public interest in physician-assisted suicide is not related to the progress in biomedical technology. It advances during moments of economic recession, wherein individualism as well as social Darwinism are invoked to make justifications for public policy. It evolves when physician power over medical decision making is affected. (Williams, 2002)

Further public interest in physician-assisted suicide arises when putting an end to life sustaining medical interventions tends to be standard medical practice and interest advances in expanding such practices to include physician-assisted suicide. The inclination towards physician-assisted suicide decreases when such conditions vary. (Williams, 2002) the primary difficulty presently has been the suitable application of technology at the end of life. The questions asked is whether it is appropriate to apply to everyone, irrespective of the chance of effective outcome or the burdens it persists. If not, what moral elements regulate the application and non-application of medical interventions? Such queries are most prominent at the last phase of life since the burdens of intervention are sometime more, the advantages are negligible and quality of life is remarkably decreasing. (Walker, 1999)

The concern of whether or not to accord legal sanction to physician-assisted suicide- PAS has attracted public concern and policy formulators around the globe. However, much of the articulations with regard to the matter has been ethical and reveals the conflict of paradigms instead of being really empirically focused. Several advocates and adversaries of Physician-assisted suicide are widely functioning on hypothesis regarding why individuals involve in PAS with only a confined quantity of empirical favor for their attitudes. Such assumptions are indicated to be the hypotheses. The supporters of Physician-assisted suicide sometimes make the assumption that people involve in Physician-assisted suicide for basically logical and biomedical causes evolving from physical sufferings. Those against Physician-assisted suicide, contrarily often make the hypothesis that participants involved in Physician-assisted suicide are inspired basically by psychosocial elements not so divergent from those coming out in more typical suicidal attitude, and thrust for prevention intervention of suicide. Apparently, one's attitude towards Physician-assisted suicide relies largely on the lenses via which one sees it. (Kaplan; Harrow; Schneiderhan, 2002)

It has been advocated that instead of generating a perceived requirement for physician-assisted suicide, developments in life-saving technology should assist to dissuade them. Patients who are being continued to live with the help of technology and desire to end their lives already have an acknowledged constitutional right to end any and all medical interventions, ranging from respirators to that of antibiotics. They do not require physician helped suicide. (Emauel, 1997) at the time when the life saving treatment is stopped, whether due to medical futility or that of patient autonomy, there can be uneasiness with regard to our activities. This sometimes results from failing to differentiate between causing the death of the patient and just permitting the patient to die. In the peculiar circumstances of a permanently unconscious patient in the ventilator, the patient is said to be alive till the physician stops the ventilator, after which the patient dies soon. The proximity of the death of the patient relating to the removal of the ventilator by the physician give rise to some physicians to think as to whether they have truly brought about the death of the patient. (Walker, 1999)

Contrary to this, in the circumstances where the ventilator is not been applied, death is not resulted nor caused by the physician but is rather due to the problems arising out of the disease process of the patient. Due to this several physicians are relaxed with not beginning treatment compared to stopping it. The contrary to this issue is to consider the ventilator as an alternative form of external support. While the ventilator does tend to sustain life, it is apparent that an individual who desires to forgo it has the liberty to do so. A clear illustration is that of an unalterable incapacitated, extremely ill patient who had before formulated an advance directive mentioning that mechanical ventilation should not be applied if his or her potentiality was irrecoverably lost and if the disease was considered to be extreme. If such criterions are met prior to the requirement for ventilation, then the ventilator must not be initiated. Alternatively, if the ventilator was initiated prior to when the patient became extreme and irrecoverably incapacitated, the ventilator should be stopped once such conditions have been transparently fulfilled. In stopping the application of the ventilator, the physician is not resulting death but is suitably removing a type of external medical support which the patient denied in advance. The natural causes of the illness of the patient continue unaffected once the ventilator is discarded, and e predictably the patient tends to die. The reason of death of the patient is due to the disease instead of by the physician. (Walker, 1999)

Current studies focused on interviews with extremely ill patients have given rise to new information on the causes as to why patients seek out for physician-assisted suicide. One study revealed that 8.5% of the 200 terminally ill patients having cancer indicated a persistent desire to die that was related to pain, depression, and poor forms of social safeguard. In another analysis about 27% of extremely ill patients having cancer had thought deeply on the concerns of physician-assisted suicide, however only 1.9% had debated those alternatives with their physicians. The patients those who were depressed and those were not religious, those were more physically relying, and those were richer than others to have discussed such options with their physicians. (Drickamer; Lee; Ganzini, 1997)

In a study of about 378 patients having human immunodeficiency virus - HIV infection, those patients who would regard physician-assisted suicide were more prone compared to patients who would not regard physician-assisted suicide to be white, to have the signs of depression, to have less social safeguard or to have had experience with that of a friend or family member who had extreme ailment. Several queries regarding other elements that might persuade a request for physician-assisted suicide have settled to be unanswered by research till date. To illustrate to what extent is a request with regard to physician-assisted suicide an endeavor fight the perceived loss of regulation or to attain reassurance that the final decision remains with the patient? Do the extremely ill patients increase their sense of regulation by requesting a lethal dose in terms of medication to have in case their ailment becomes uncontrollable in the future? (Drickamer; Lee; Ganzini, 1997)


To conclude it may be pointed out that the formulation of good public policy regarding physician-assisted suicide in the United States necessitates a national assurance to enhance research regarding end-of-life care, incorporating clarification of the manner in which discrimination impacts the way wherein available information is being interpreted and the nature of queries being raised. The debate and discussion regarding physician-assisted suicide, but concentrates on fields of strong disagreement regarding the management of a comparatively few patients for whom even the best and most complete palliative care becomes unsuccessful. It would be a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

Two Ordering Options:

Which Option Should I Choose?
1.  Download full paper (4 pages)Download Microsoft Word File

Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!

- or -

2.  Write a NEW paper for me!✍🏻

We'll follow your exact instructions!
Chat with the writer 24/7.

Physician-Assisted Suicide. Physician-Assisted Suicide Is an Emotional Term Paper

Ethical Argument Against Physician Assisted Suicide Essay

Physician-Assisted Suicide and Ethical Issues the Medical Essay

Ethics - Assisted Suicide the Legal Term Paper

Assisted Suicide Legal History US Term Paper

View 200+ other related papers  >>

How to Cite "Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide.  (2007, August 9).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide."  9 August 2007.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Ethical Issues Raised by Biomedical Technologies in End-Of-Life Policy or Physician Assisted Suicide."  August 9, 2007.  Accessed April 12, 2021.