Bioethics Exam #2 Paper
2) Should Physician-assisted suicide be legalized in Minnesota?
The question of the legalizing physician-assisted suicide is extremely controversial, as it incorporates mixed views of ethics and morality. For this paper, I will focus on three of Callahan’s arguments against physician-assisted suicide: self-determination, the differences between killing and allowing someone to die, and the consequences. Callahan be directly challenged by Lach’s argument in favor of physician-assisted suicide.
Self-determination is understood as the principle by which individuals has an interest of making autonomous decisions for themselves according to their own beliefs about things that make their life good and ways of conducting their lives. Callahan argues that physician-assisted suicide is no longer a matter of self-determination but rather a social decision between two people with one being the killer and the other to be killed. Callahan does not think it is permissible to put out so much power of killing of someone in the hands of another despite having the permission by competent person. He asserts that no one has yet to justify for the idea of waiving our right to life and giving that to a doctor to take it.
According to Callahan, there is a distinction between the stopping of life-sustaining treatment and active form of killing. To consider them the same creates confusion between reality and moral judgment in viewing an omitted action as having the equal causal status as compared to one that directly kills. A lethal injection of physician-assisted suicide can kill both a healthy and unhealthy person while the act of omitting a treatment cannot effect on a healthy person. Callahan focuses on the word “killing” and mentions that it should not be used to describe an action of a doctor stopping a treatment at the patient’s request. The underlying disease is the physical cause of a patient’s death, not the doctor’s act of omitting the treatment.
In discussing arguments against the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, it is significant to understand the likely consequences of it. Callahan list two outcomes such as the inevitability of some form of abuse and difficulty in precisely writing. Callahan states that laws that are based on delicate and controversial matters are to certain an extent abused because not everyone will agree with the way that the law is written and will try to find ways of bending and ignoring it. Abuse is also inevitable because the law is likely to be a lower priority in the criminal justice system....