Euthanasia and End-of-Life Decisions
As the Hippocratic Oath states, “neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.” (Paola, 2010, p.329). The biggest ethical dilemma with physician assisted suicide (PAS) is how wrong or right it is for a physician to use medicine to knowingly cause the death of a patient. It clearly is a contradiction of the Hippocratic Oath. Another ethical dilemma associated with PAS is sanctity of human life, suicide is the taking of one’s own life and there is no justification, or discrimination in the eyes of the religious it’s still suicide for a physician prescribed medication to a patient that was going to pass away soon and it goes against the sanctity of human life.
With the knowledge that PAS is only legal in the state of Oregon and Washington with strict guidelines, my advice to the patient would be to go to a hospice. I would explain to her what exactly takes place at a hospice and explain that it is not a place where PAS takes place but that she will be made comfortable and pain free. In addition, I would also explain to her that America has the best health care in the world and in my professional opinion I did not think it would be wise to travel out of the country to seek any kind of medical care especially a highly controversial one as PAS.
As a physician, it is part of the job to learn about new experimental treatments. However, it is also part of the job to determine which of those treatments to recommend to patients. Under no circumstances, I would recommend to a patient going to Mexico to take part in an experimental treatment. Once again, as a physician, my job would be to help not hurt patients, and I would have no clue as to what exactly this Mexican treatment entails. If I am advising my patient to not go to Holland to seek medical treatment, then it would make no sense for me to advise her to go to Mexico.
I am firmly against doctors having the ability to...