An analysis of assisted suicide through act utilitarianism and kants ethics

Leading 20th century proponent of Kantianism:

An analysis of assisted suicide through act utilitarianism and kants ethics

There is a lot of debate on whether assisting patients commit suicide is ethical no matter what the circumstances might be. Patients who usually ask for physician assisted suicide are those who usually suffer from terminal illnesses especially cancer and AIDS patients.

Such patients suffer from extreme pain or psychological distress. Physicians usually participate by giving a prescription of what is usually a lethal dose to a patient. As a physician, an individual gets to know a patient and interacts with them and gives them hope for life.

To ask them to then assist in taking that life is too difficult for some physicians to bear. In most states and countries, physician assisted killing is illegal and it is also against the Hippocratic Oath which is taken by doctors in medical school.

Some physicians might however harbour counter transference feelings depending on their feelings and attitude towards death or certain illnesses and they might therefore not be the best decision makers on issues related to taking away life. The practice of physician assisted killing is illegal in all states of America except in Oregon.

So if a physician is discovered of having participated in a physician assisted suicide case, they are liable for prosecution in a court of law under the charge of homicide or to a manslaughter charge Vartghese Physicians therefore try as much as possible to avoid participating in physician assisted cases.

Doctors report being emotionally and psychologically distressed after taking part in physician assisted suicide.

Majority of physicians who have participated in this kind of practice report having to take the next day off to try and be able to cope with the situation. Physicians who take part in physician assisted suicide also express having feelings of isolation and experiencing difficulty coping with the situation.

Physicians feel that their primary role is to give, preserve and prolong life and therefore when they are presented with the task of taking away life, they feel conflicted because they are torn between doing what the patient wants and doing what they have been trained to do which is to prolong life.

The physicians also feel excluded from the society. Physicians, who decline to do what the patient wants on the other hand, usually face the wrath of such patients who are angry at the caregivers because they feel that the physicians are getting in their way of getting what they want and need.

Some physicians feel that patients and families of patients who ask their doctors to assist them in suicide ask too much of them.

Critics argue that physician assisted suicide and good end of life care especially in hospice institutions experience conflicting emotions. Critics claim that if patients are given loving and caring medical attention, they would not ask for assisted suicide.

Patients with terminal illnesses and in extreme pain are said to be in a state of hopelessness and are therefore not in their right minds when making requests of physician assisted killing Gill Research however indicates that patients with terminal illnesses who are in what are considered as great hospice institutions still request for medication to hasten death.

Critics argue that patients who request physician assisted death are usually depressed and that if these feelings were to be addressed, the patients would not make such requests.

Those who are against physician assisted killing feel that those patients who are depressed and ask for physician assisted killing should be considered as being mentally unstable and requests to be assisted in committing suicide should not be taken from mentally unstable patients.

It is argued that patients who need and want physician assisted suicide should be classified into two categories; those who are suffering from physical pain which cannot be alleviated using medical care and those who feel psychologically depressed who can be counselled into improving their emotional and psychological state.

Those whose physical pain is too difficult to bear and manageable can be assisted but those who are psychologically and emotionally distressed should first be counselled.

Critics therefore argue that nurses and doctors alike should honour the wishes of a patient and let him or her decide whether they want to continue living or not.

A physician would not assist a patient to die if they know that they will be held liable ion a court of law and prosecuted. Physicians in the State of Oregon still express having feelings of guilt even if physician assisted killing has been legalized in the state.

An analysis of assisted suicide through act utilitarianism and kants ethics

Succinct guidelines have however been put in place to guide physicians in the state of Oregon before giving a patient a prescription for assisted suicide.

The patient has to have made the decision and not the physician, the patient has to be in their last six months of living, be allowed to change their mind about their decision of being assisted to die, inform their next kin and many other processes have to be followed before a patient can be allowed to take a prescription to assist them in dying.

Such a case also has to get the second opinion of another physician preferably a specialist dealing with the condition that the patient is suffering from. The number of deaths from physician assisted killing has not been very high because the legalizing of the act came with more provision of training for healthcare providers for patients with terminal illnesses, more communication of available and better treatments to patients and their families and more terminally ill patients being referred to hospice care centres for healthcare provision.

Some of these patients can change their minds when they are taken to healthcare facilities that are more specialized for example a cancer hospice health institution.

Healthcare provides are also encouraged to talk to the patients and their families so that they can move away from thinking about physician assisted suicide. Utilitariasm theory proposes that society should act for the greater good of the society.

It argues that an action should be performed for the greater good of the society. If this theory was to be applied in physician assisted killing, then it would be assumed okay for a physician to assist a patient commit suicide because of a reason like overpopulation in an area.

Utilitariasm would not be appropriate in case the physician had counter transference issues whereby their view of disease or death might be distorted compared to the recommended views of the society. A physician who practices utilitariasm may feel that the life of a patient who is old and is suffering from a terminal illness may not be adding value to the society and is draining the resources of a country.Ethical debate on Assisted Suicide through "The Utilitarian Theory" posted Apr 4, , PM by micheal youngman When it comes to .

Exploring Assisted Suicide; through the ethical frameworks of Act Utilitarianism and Kant’s Ethics Uploaded by kat_ on Jul 14, Introduction.

Kant and Mill on Physician-Assisted Suicide - Inquiries Journal

May 18,  · Throughout history, suicide has evoked an astonishingly wide range of reactions—bafflement, dismissal, heroic glorification, sympathy, anger, moral or religious condemnation—but it is never uncontroversial. Nov 04,  · Please read through the posts Fall Immigration in Europe and US; OCT 1: 7 Some structure for locating philosophical ethics theories.

Intentions (Kantian), Act (Aristotle), Consequences (Mill, Singer - utilitarian) Markets in kidneys, assisted suicide, consensual canabalism (again!).

can use utilitarianism to oppose euthanasia. opposed to euthanasia, either through intimate involvement with a particular case or through a general objection to the whole principle.

Those opposed to the act from the outset would definitely be displeased. Therefore, I suggest that a chain of causes and. Jun 01,  · They can quite reasonably argue that the purpose of the Suicide Act is not to allow euthanasia, and support this argument by pointing out that the Act makes it a crime to help someone commit suicide.

Physician Assisted Suicide