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Legal Rights Regulations of Health Workers and Patients - Assignment Example

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The goal of this assignment is to critically evaluate how the law protects patients from euthanasia and assisted suicide as well as to how it protects doctors and nurses from prosecution on the practice. Therefore, the assignment outlines the legal bounds of actions allowed to medical workers…
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Legal Rights Regulations of Health Workers and Patients
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Download file to see previous pages This dissatisfaction originates from the ambiguity of the questionable decision even though the problem is resolved. In suicide, persons, for whatever reasons, decide voluntarily to end their own life; involuntary euthanasia, another assist in carrying out the person's wish (Johnstone, M., 2005, 236). Common to both is that the decision is made by the person who wishes to be and who ends up dead. When patients are hopelessly ill, the choice is between living longer at the price of suffering or living shorter at the price of death. It seems reasonable, in the last instance, to allow patients to make such a choice for themselves. Patients who have terminal cancer or another terminal condition not rarely ask their physician for the means of suicide. Patient requests to their physician for help in committing suicide are unfortunately often met by physicians and other healthcare providers with a refusal or by an appeal to the law (Johnstone, M., 2005, 241). Allowing patients to have access to an acceptable means of suicide empowers them. Empowering patients in this way helps them to hold on a bit longer than they often otherwise would. Allowing patients as much control over their own destiny as possible is not only ethically proper, it also allows more cooperation in the care process. Physician-assisted suicide is an example of active euthanasia that involves deliberate actions resulting in the death of the individual. This assistance can also be passive where the caregiver deliberately omits actions in care that may prolong life (Johnstone, M., 2005, 243). In physician-assisted suicide, the physician actively provides the client with the means to end life. Patients with terminal illnesses that are accompanied by considerable pain and suffering often do not wish their disease to be treated aggressively. All want the pain and suffering to be minimized, but many, at least at some stage, do not want their lives prolonged. This has put a considerable burden on physicians, whose culture, tradition and instincts are devoted to the prolonging of life, not to the shortening of it (Johnstone, M., 2005, 251). Inadequate palliative care at extreme age group is one of the significant reasons patients seek to die. The client's right to refuse treatment is based on the principle of autonomy, and the client can do this only after the treatment methods and their consequences have been explained. Sometimes, however, a patient who does fully understand the consequences of not being treated ranks the harms of treatment as worse than the harms of not being treated and so does not want to be treated. Ethically, if the consequences of such an action are dead, a physician may overrule a competent informed patient's rational refusal of treatment, including life-preserving treatment, always involves depriving the patient of freedom, and usually involves causing him pain. Moreover, ethically, the medical profession is entitled to do no harm to the client, and sometimes, in reality, the pain of the treatment is more than that of the disease, and many treatments are known to cause more harm than the disease itself. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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