Final Paper: Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-Assisted Suicide

PHI208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning

Physician-Assisted Suicide

Part 1: Introduction

The question is, does a person with a terminal condition have an ethical right to physician-assisted suicide? (Anderson, 2018) 

Dying is a rough subject for anybody to cope. The majority of folks do not choose to reflect on it at the beginning of finding out that they are terminally ill. Physician-assisted suicide is an extraordinarily compelling and contentious ethical argument. Every story has two sides, and we as people tend to jump to assumptions on whether physician-assisted suicide is ethically or morally true or false. Death by suicide defined as the process of murdering yourself. Physician-Assisted Suicide is described as also a suicide but with the help of a physician. Regarding terminating a life, many aspects considered. Some individuals understand the physician-assisted suicide plan as being ethically wrong. Incurably ill individuals ought to have the liberty to commit suicide if they are enthusiastic to do it to bring about the end to their pain and misery that they suffer. Countless individuals exist day to day in much agony that they cannot stand it and they as well have been provided with an approximate amount of time on just how long they have left to live before they die. (Varelius, 2019)

Many times, you will find that doctors are only thinking about physician-assisted suicide after the patient identified with an incurable sickness, and their pain will get worse. A smaller situation happens when the sick person does not hurt from something fatal. They think that they do not possess the will to keep going on with what discomfort they have, whether it is psychological or physical. In these situations, you should ask yourself what the main moral is that can originate from the circumstances. These kinds of choices frequently go into the territory of utilitarianism and considering what will produce the greatest pleasure. Founded on utilitarian philosophy, something that would give these suffering individuals the utmost satisfaction is to have no pain. For some of these individuals, the most significant way to achieve this is to ask for physician-assisted suicide. When thinking about which side, you are on you need to look at each side of the morals and ethics when selecting to die or not to die. (Thames, 2018)

Currently, in the United States, there are seven states and Washington D.C. that legally allow Physician-Assisted Suicide to any individual that has a terminal illness. So again, I ask the question if someone with a terminal illness is permitted to ask a physician for assisted suicide? Those not in favor of this hard choice contend that no physician has a specific period of how long any person with a terminal illness will last. Nevertheless, the purpose of this essay is to provide the individual that is reading this essay a different viewpoint on someone being allowed to choose whether or not they would have a choice for physician-assisted suicide.

Part 2: Ethical Argument

The argument is what the difference is between deliberately killing yourself and purposely allowing yourself to pass away is together comprehensible and morally pertinent. This moral difference then delivers a standard for courts taking into consideration similar guard arguments to differentiate an individual who is pondering on committing suicide from someone else that wishes to free them self of undesirable medical care and to accomplish that these different persons not situated for reasons. Both of these conditions are morally different. Different ways trigger the deaths, and those that are involved have various meanings. The purpose of the physician and individual to accelerate the individual’s death is substantial, and the purpose links to grasp what it entails to care for folks equally. Physicians who partake in assisted suicide aim their patients to die by their ways. Those individuals that ask their doctors to commit assisted suicide and persons who decline treatment are not likewise situated for resolutions. (Inbadas, Zaman, Whitelaw, & Clark, 2017)

Part 3: Explanation and Defense

In our textbook, it defines utilitarianism as “a consequentialist ethical theory that holds that morally right actions, laws, or policies are those whose consequences contain the greatest positive value and least negative value compared to the consequences of available alternatives” (Thames, 2018, Ch 3 Key Terms). The positive values of utilitarianism are that it ponders the desire and agony of every person that is affected by some action. The positive also believes every person to be equal. It does not allow someone to put their comforts or associations before anyone else. It tries to deliver an impartial, quantifiable technique for creating moral choices. The negative values of utilitarianism are not able to allocate a quantitative method to all gratifications and agonies. It does not talk about the issue of some indulgences and discomforts that is not able to be calculated. It highlights the quantity of pain an action will cause, and not to whomever. The negative value believes results continuously can be verified before action conquered. (Thames, 2018)

Utilitarianism was the first to be discussed by the philosopher, Jeremy Bentham. It founded on whatever generates the most significant volume of pleasure and the smallest amount of unhappiness. A significant thing to think of concerning utilitarianism is that folks have unique attributes that cause them to be content or satisfied. One individual could cherish something that someone else does not. (Thames, 2018)

John Stuart Mill tells us that, “The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals “utility” or the “greatest happiness principle” “holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure” (Mill, 2007, sec. 2.2). Mill’s described the essential values of the utilitarian theory as the movements are in the correct amount as they encourage happiness, and incorrect if they do not. (Mill, 2007)

The utilitarian theory goes along with the concept that desire and the independence from pain are the things needed in our lifetime, and that all beneficial things that are helpful only for the advancement of comfort and avoidance of pain. The ending that acknowledged at this point is that as extensive as the actions encourage pleasure they are right, and if the movements promote pain, uneasiness, or anger, then these actions are incorrect. (Thames, 2018)

As utilitarianism relates to physician-assisted suicide, it is understood as the choice of an individual to terminate their misery and to grant them enjoyment or contentment. John Stewart Mill thought that the high-quality of desire to an individual was their intelligence, and the lower-quality choice was the body. For an individual that is in continuous pain, it could be logically enjoyable to select to terminate the pain of their body and ask for physician-assisted suicide. It not just affects the individual but also the effect it can have on the family. The family is involved just as much as the person. (Thames, 2018)

You can continually have confidence in hoping for the best, and possibly the individual that is suffering will be able to get the treatment that they require to be joyful and have no pain. Nevertheless, the majority of the time the individuals that are suffering caught in a world of agony or sadness that they cannot fight anymore. In observing these different kinds of situations as a utilitarian opinion, it helps to make it simpler to understand how permitting the individuals that are suffering to select the way that they want to die. (Magelssen, Supphellen, Nortvedt, & Materstvedt, 2016)

An excellent example of my defense is the terminally ill disease that my boyfriend, Mike diagnosed with a year ago January. He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which is a deteriorating lung illness. We both had never heard of this disease. At a moment’s notice, he could take a turn for the worst. We both know that pulmonary fibrosis will eventually end his life. His lungs are slowly filling with scar tissue. When his time comes, he will gradually and painfully choke to death. I can say at this time his sickness as not gotten any worse. The $8,000 a month medication that he is taking has slowed the progression of his disease. If Mike chooses physician-assisted suicide, I will support him 100%.

Part 4: Objection and Response

There are two versions to each report, and this indicates to individuals who have confidence that physician-assisted suicide is morally and ethically incorrect. Everybody will not agree that doctors normally can forecast at what time an individual with a terminal illness will die. Not all physician’s predictions are always accurate, and this causes disbelievers to think that this is more like murder than assisted suicide. It will undoubtedly cause many red flags for persons who do not agree that this method is ethically and morally wrong. Individuals who debate not in favor of physician-assisted suicide would say that it is thought as being a type of suicide where you can choose when the day of your death occurs since the individual would be ending their life ahead of the terminal illness doing just that. (Magelssen, Supphellen, Nortvedt, & Materstvedt, 2016)

Physician-assisted suicide is hugely debatable amongst persons that speak the utilitarian theory. The principal opposition to this subject is that it is at all times immoral to murder an innocent person. The folks that are on this side of the fight wish for the individuals that are suffering to continue breathing no matter what for a reason that life is valuable, and everybody lives as long as they possibly could. Also, the doctors, members of the family, or anybody else could imagine that individuals should delay seeing if there may be some new remedies that may perhaps heal them. With all of the modern medicines and methods that are continuously

developing, one of them may be the solution that could assist them in having a life with no pain till they pass away from natural causes. (Magelssen, Supphellen, Nortvedt, & Materstvedt, 2016)

Part 5: Conclusion

Physician-Assisted Suicide is the right to die in a means of the individual’s choosing. It should be a fundamental right according to humankind in general. If the person’s value of life is living in endless pain, and there is no hope of healing, then the person ought to not be deprived of their choice to die with self-respect. Death with pride is what transpires when all possibilities depleted, and it would be morally and ethically correct for physician-assisted suicide.


Anderson, J. (2018). Written Assignment Ethical Topics and Questions List. Retrieved from

Inbadas, H., Zaman, S., Whitelaw, S., & Clark, D. (2017). Declarations on euthanasia and assisted dying. Death Studies, Vol 41(9), pp. 574-584, 11p. Retrieved from http://eds.a.e ia&bdata=JnR5cGU9MCZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZlJnNjb3BlPXNpdGU%3d

Magelssen, M., Supphellen, M., Nortvedt, P., & Materstvedt, M. (2016). Attitudes towards assisted dying are influenced by question wording and order: A survey experiment. BMC Medical Ethics, Vol 1. Retrieved from



Mill, J. (2007). Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Retrieved from

Thames, B. (2018). How should one live? An introduction to ethics and moral reasoning (3rd ed.). Retrieved from

Varelius, J.(2016). Physician-assisted dying and two senses of an incurable condition. Journal of Medical Ethics: Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics, Vol 42(9), Sep 2016. pp. 601-604. Retrieved from