Respecting client autonomy facilitated suicide

Case study: an ethical dilemma involving a dying patient.

This of course leads to something of a difficulty, since the principles can often come into conflict. Of course, it might be the case that even armed with information about the dangers of doubling her medication, the patient might re-iterate her request; then the principle of autonomy would demand that the doctor doubles the medication, if we assume that the patient is fully competent. Critically, beneficence implies that the healthcare professional will have carried out his duties, obligations and responsibilities in a spirit of goodness. The physician is caught in the middle and current social values prevent him from advocating the best clinical advice and course of action for the dying patient. John Grohol, have been debating the pros and cons of physician assisted suicide PAS. Most arguments aimed at supporting this situation are based on an assumption of rationality and competency on the part of the victim. In most fields of medical practice the principle of autonomy is considered virtually sacrosanct and explicit personal consent is required for most procedures. Let me explain why I think this is the case. The bioethical model considers each of these entities separately. The pain medication case as Pies presents it sets up an illusionary conflict between the principle of autonomy and the principle of non-maleficence, a conflict in which only the most ardent liberal would deny that the latter principle should take precedence. Perhaps the most central ethical principle to consider is that of autonomy. What are we to make of this claim? David Card October 12, at am We all die. The arguments that surround the issue of autonomy in relation to suicide effectively turn on this issue. Salvatore A Bioethics is the study of value judgements pertaining to human conduct in the area of biology and medicine.

Salvatore A Bioethics is the study of value judgements pertaining to human conduct in the area of biology and medicine. Surely then, we might think, non-maleficence must be the most important consideration in this case and in PAS? In most fields of medical practice the principle of autonomy is considered virtually sacrosanct and explicit personal consent is required for most procedures.

The arguments that surround the issue of autonomy in relation to suicide effectively turn on this issue. Donnelly, J. What are we to make of this claim?

patient autonomy physician-assisted death

Ronald Pies and Dr. However, in the case of PAS, the principles of non-maleficence and autonomy are in a conflict that is both very real, and extremely important. The assisted suicide is where either a healthcare professional or another person actively assists, either in terms of providing the actual means of death or the knowledge and guidance as to its use, in the death of another.

Physician assisted death facts

In considering this question, it is instructive to return to one of the original treatments of the four principles of medical ethics, provided by Beauchamp and Childress. The questions are when and how? WHO Pabst Battin, M. What is considered good in one circumstance may not necessarily be good in another. Suicide has to be seen generally as the outcome of a number of processes which result in psychological debilitation. However, our judgment concerning which prima facie principle ought to take precedence in PAS ought not to be clouded by an analogy which serves only to distort our appreciation of the importance of autonomy by misconstruing its nature. The facilitated suicide is a very specific group where the victim undertakes suicide in a situation where they have been under the care of a healthcare professional who had knowledge of the potential risk and that means of either suicide prevention or intervention were available but either not used or not considered.

The physician is caught in the middle and current social values prevent him from advocating the best clinical advice and course of action for the dying patient. The first category includes all cases where the individual has made an autonomous decision to end their life without the knowledge or assistance of any other person.

Pabst Battin, M. Those who support the autonomous right to suicide arguing that JS Mill was right, and on the other extreme there are those who oppose it pointing out that anyone who comes to the decision to take their life is, by definition, incompetent legal definition again Coulter A.

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Physician Assisted Suicide and the Conflict Between Autonomy and Non