Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

Euthanasia is a practice whereby, a life of a patient is terminated intentionally to relieve pain and suffering, at the request of a patient. The act of euthanasia can be voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Physician-assisted suicide is whereby; the trusted physician assists the patient on how to commit suicide for compassionate reasons (Parks & Wike, 2009). The physician provides the patient with the perfect ways of committing suicide. Both euthanasia and physician-assisted suicides are legal in some countries and illegal in other countries. When a person who is killed had the knowledge and requested for it, is voluntary and non-voluntary is when, a person killed neither request nor gave consent to the act (Parks & Wike, 2009). Involuntary euthanasia is when the victim made an expressed wish to the contrary.

People with severe disabilities, who are terminally ill, tend to think that they are better off dead. At times, their family members may also tend to think the same taking it as a reasonable, responsible, and merciful act. In some countries, this is unacceptable as it is considered hasty and ill-informed decisions. Every life has value, despite the illness condition (Parks & Wike, 2009).

According to most of the research done globally, it is evident that women receive euthanasia and assisted suicide regularly than men. According to professor Canetto, who has been involved with some research concerning gender and suicide says that the act of taking someone’s life is masculine. This leads to mercy killing applying more to women, as a way of committing suicide. Most women globally spend their lives serving others as house helps, mothers, and others in service industries like nursing and teaching (Parks & Wike, 2009). When they become ill, their roles are reversed such that someone must be there to take care of them. If a woman fails to attend to her duties as she used to do before the illness, she starts seeing no point in living, as she does not want to be a burden. Such a woman starts experiencing a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness. The next step is for such a woman to request a quick death to stop being a burden, as she tends to think.

In some countries as well, the factor of the patient’s class is also considered as far as euthanasia is concerned. When high-class people happen to fall sick especially a terminal illness, there is a likelihood for the family members and close relatives to unite and request euthanasia for reasons of material gains. Some do this to have access to the things the patient has written in his or her will (Parks & Wike, 2009). This is enough reason why most of the countries do not approve of euthanasia, as it can be an easier way of relatives getting rid of someone they do not want.

Most of the discussions about euthanasia are regularly argued on basis of autonomy. Whereby, any patient has a right to make an informed decision concerning his or her treatment (Parks & Wike, 2009). Although a patient has a right to make such decisions, they must be following ethical values. However, no patient can be allowed to refuse the treatment that a doctor is prescribing with the final intention of causing his death.

In conclusion, since time immemorial, people have been suffering from serious illnesses and scientists have been working day and night to come up with the right medication for every disease. Causing a patient’s death before the right time due to any reason is not justifiable (Parks & Wike, 2009). It is evident that some physicians have given up on seriously ill patients, they even fail to administer medication to them with the view that, they will die no matter what, only for those patients to get well later. There is no justifiable reason for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.


Parks, J., & Wike, V. (2009). Bioethics in a changing world. New York: Pearson.

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