LEGAL AND ETHICal issues in health - Assignment Example

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Administering or aiding in the administration of drugs, or any other medical intervention, which seeks to end the life of a terminally ill patient is…
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LEGAL AND ETHICal issues in health
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Download file to see previous pages The case above is classified as voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide because the patient requested for the drug to alleviate pain, induce sleep and eventually end her life.
The main considerations for this case would relate to the four ethical principles as laid out by Beauchamp and Childress (2001). These ethical principles include: autonomy or self-determination, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice (Beauchamp and Childress, 2001). The ethical principle of self-determination or autonomy indicates that all individuals have the right to determine their own future, and in this case, the right to die (Kerridge, Lowe, and Stewart, 2009). This ethical principle would provide support for the patient’s decision because she has the right to die and the right to determine the direction of her life. Supporters of assisted suicide declare that not allowing the patient to die violates the patient’s freedom. They also believe that any competent and terminally-ill patient must have the right to choose death. Under these conditions, they choose the time and the means by which to die, and therefore are able to lend a semblance of dignity to their death and the end of their life (Kerridge, et.al., 2009). The patient is in severe pain however, she is still in a logical and lucid state of mind, sufficient to support a sound decision about her life. This right to self-determination must not therefore be denied her.
Inasmuch as the right to self-determination fully supports the patient’s right to die, this contrasts sharply to other ethical principles, including the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. From a certain point of view, beneficence may support the right of the patient to opt for assisted suicide, especially as it is an act which would benefit the patient (Beauchamp and Childress, 2001). The principle of beneficence highlights the fact that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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