Professional Integrity and the Dilemma in Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS)
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
There is no stronger or more enduring prohibition in medicine than the rule against the killing of patients by doctors. This prohibition is rooted in some medical codes and principles. Out standing among the principles surrounding these prohibitions are the principles of beneficence and non-maleficience. The contents of these principles in a way mark the professional integrity of the physician. But the modern approach to health care services pulls a demand for the respect of the individual right of self-determination. This demand is now glaring in almost all the practices pertaining to health care services. In end of life decisions, this modern demand is found much in practices like physician- assisted suicide and euthanasia. It demands that the physician ought to respect the wish and choice of the patient, and so, must assist the patient in bringing about his or her death when requested. In such manner, this views the principle of autonomy as absolute and should not be overridden in any circumstance.
However, the physician on his part is part of the medical profession that has integrity to protect. This integrity in medical profession which demands that the physician works only towards the health care of the patient and to what reduces diseases and deaths often go contrary to this respect for individual autonomy. Thus faced with such requests by patients, the physician always sees his integrity in conflict with his demand to respect the autonomous choice of the patient and so has a dilemma in responding to such requests. This is the focus of this work,"Professional Integrity and the Dilemma in Physician- Assisted Suicide"
However, the centre of my argument in this work is not merely though necessary to develop general arguments for or against the general justification of PAS, but to critically view the role played by the physicians in assisting the death of their patients as it comes in conflict with the medical obligation and integrity. Is it morally right, out rightly wrong or in certain situation permissible that physicians respond positively to the request of the patients for PAS? This is the overarching moral problem in the morality of physician- assisted suicide, and this work will consider this in line with the main problem in the work “the dilemma of professional physicians in the assistance of suicide.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ethics, Professional Integrity, Physician-Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, Morality, Principle of Autonomy, Principle of Beneficence
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2405ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--04/03--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-2405DiVA: diva2:19737