“How can it be lawful to allow a patient to die slowly, though painlessly, over a period of weeks from lack of food but unlawful to produce his immediate death by a lethal injection, thereby saving his family from yet another ordeal to add to the tragedy that has already struck them? I find it difficult to find a moral answer to that question. But it is undoubtedly the law and nothing I have said casts doubt on the proposition that the doing of a positive act with the intention of ending life is and remains murder” (Lord Brown-Wilkinson in Airedale N.H.S. Trust v Bland [1993] A.C. 789).
The aim of this research paper is to provide an analytical investigation into the life ending decisions of people concerning euthanasia, specifically physician-assisted suicide and the legal and ethical debates that arise. Regarding the ethical debate about this subject, the concept of human life as an absolute value will be discussed along with the violation of ethical norms in ending the life of an innocent human being. Furthermore, the implications of the distinction between acts of omissions and causation issues will be of paramount importance to potential criminal liabilities and raises a number of sensitive and controversial issues. A vast majority of people believes that physician-assisted death or euthanasia should be an available treatment for a dying patient; however, I strongly believe that physician-assisted suicide is detrimental to society and violates medical ethics.
Encountered with a situation that involves ending a person’s life, there will always be procedural questions to be addressed regarding the nature of the decision to be made along with the ethical implications. Firstly, a critical ethical subject to be addressed is the absolute value placed on human life and how physician-assisted suicide violates the conservation of human life (Friend 2011). The campaign for assisted suicide is a threat not an aid, to human freedom. The pro physician-assisted suicide...