Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and the Professional Obligations of Physicians

Emergent Australasian Philosophers 3:1-15 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Euthanasia and assisted suicide have proved to be very contentious topics in medical ethics. Some ethicists are particularly concerned that allowing physicians to carry out these procedures will undermine their professional obligations and threaten the very goals of medicine. However, I maintain that the fundamental goals of medicine not only do not preclude the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide by physicians, but can in fact be seen to support these practices in some instances. I look at two influential views of the goals of medicine, one based on the broad guiding principles of autonomy, beneficence and nonmaleficence, and the other focusing on several more concrete aims, concluding that both approaches can be seen to support euthanasia and assisted suicide. I then turn to the popular concern that allowing physicians to carry out euthanasia and assisted suicide will lead to widespread abuse. I argue that the possibility for abuse can be minimised if we make the patient's autonomous consent an essential requirement of the practice.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Conscience, referral, and physician assisted suicide.Kevin WM Wildes - 1993 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (3):323-328.
Easeful death: is there a case for assisted dying?Mary Warnock - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Elisabeth Macdonald.
Mahātmā Gandhi's view on euthanasia and assisted suicide.Joris Gielen - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (7):431-434.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-02-18

Downloads
3,447 (#1,856)

6 months
660 (#1,854)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lucie White
Utrecht University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Rethinking informed consent in bioethics.Neil C. Manson - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
Voluntary active euthanasia.Dan W. Brock - 1992 - Hastings Center Report 22 (2):10-22.
Is There a Right to Die?Leon R. Kass - 1993 - Hastings Center Report 23 (1):34-43.
Dutch Euthanasia: Background, Practice, and Present Justifications.G. K. Kimsma & E. Van Leeuwen - 1993 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2 (1):19.

View all 7 references / Add more references