An analysis of physician assisted suicide

However, they are different and, in the law, they are treated differently.

An analysis of physician assisted suicide

However, there is a wide range of indirect suicidal behaviors in which death results gradually rather than immediately, and in which the degree of intentionality is less obvious than in an overt suicide attempt. Defining Indirect Suicidal Behavior Robert Kastenbaum and Brian Mishara, in their discussion of the concept of premature death and its relationship to self-injurious behavior, suggested that behaviors that An analysis of physician assisted suicide life are varied in form and widespread.

They recognized that in one sense all human behavior affects a person's life expectancy. Some obvious examples of potentially life-shortening behavior include smoking cigarettes, taking risks when driving, and ignoring doctors' orders.

On the other hand, life span can be prolonged by exercising regularly, eating well, using care when crossing the street, and driving an automobile in good condition equipped with air bags while always wearing a seat belt.

Indirect suicidal behavior is thus a matter of probabilities rather than certainties. Not taking one's heart medication or crossing the street carelessly will certainly increase the probability of a premature death.

However, the timing of the occurrence of a subsequent heart attack is unknown; some people cross recklessly and live a long life, while others are hit by a car and die the first time they are not careful.

Assisted suicide - Wikipedia

Similarly, smoking cigarettes is clearly associated with a reduction in life expectancy, and most people know this, including smokers.

However, as many smokers will point out, there is usually a case of a person someone knows who has smoked for decades and lived to old age. Suicides are often deemed indirect where there is no immediate and clearly identifiable intentionality. The pioneer suicidologist Edwin Shneidman spoke of "subintentioned death" and "indirect suicide"p.

He felt that orientations toward death, or "toward cessation," fall into four categories, which include intentioned, subintentioned, unintentioned, and contraintentioned.

Suicide is by definition generally considered to be intentioned. Accidental deaths are unintentioned, and his category of "contraintention" includes people who feign death and threaten death.

An analysis of physician assisted suicide

He specifies four groups of persons who have subintentional orientations. First, there is the "death-chancer" who gambles with death by doing things that leave death "up to chance.

Assisted suicide - Wikipedia

The "death-hasteners" are individuals who unconsciously aggravate a physiological disequilibrium to hasten death. Death-hasteners may engage in a dangerous lifestyle, such as abusing the body, using alcohol or drugs, exposing themselves to the elements, or not eating a proper diet.

The "death-capitulators," by virtue of some strong emotion, play a psychological role in hastening their own demise. These people give in to death or "scare themselves to death. Shneidman's fourth and final category is the "death-experimenter," who does not wish consciously to end his or her life but who appears to wish for a chronically altered or "befogged" state of existence.

This includes alcoholics and barbiturate addicts. Interpretations by Freud and His Followers Although Freud did not discuss indirect suicide, he developed the concept of the death instinct later in his life. It was his student Karl Menninger who elaborated on the concept of a death instinct, Thanatos, which he viewed as being in constant conflict with the opposing force of the life instinct, or Eros.

According to Menninger, there is an inherent tendency toward self-destruction that may, when not sufficiently counterbalanced by the life instincts, result in both direct and indirect self-destructive behavior. Norman Farberow expanded upon Menninger's theory and developed a classification system for what he called "indirect self-destructive behavior.

The impact of indirect self-destructive behaviors is most often long-term and frequently permanent, so that only the results are clearly apparent. Unlike direct suicidal behavior, indirect self-destructive behavior is not linked to a specific precipitating stress; hence this behavior is not sudden or impulsive.

Unlike completed suicides and suicide attempts, indirect self-destructive behavior does not entail a threat to end one's own life; nor does it involve clear messages that indicate a death wish. Indirect self-destructive people are generally self-concerned and unable to invest much of themselves in a relationship with significant others.

They are often alone and have limited social support systems. In contrast, the suicide attempts of the direct self-destructive are often related to the loss of a significant other. Studies of Other Species Humans are the only species who engage in intentional self-destructive behavior.

Philosophers generally limit the possibility of voluntary and intentional self-destruction to the human race. Nevertheless, self-initiated behaviors that result in harm and death do occur in other species.

These behaviors, while obviously self-destructive, do not have the characteristic of conscious decisionmaking that is unique to humans.Physician Assisted Suicide: An Ethical Analysis of Presuppositions September, ; XVI/1. In a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of physicians, assisted by a lawyer and a philosopher, defend physician assisted suicide.

Physician-assisted suicide is a controversial practice that is gaining favor in some segments of today's society. I will analyze the proponents' arguments for physician-assisted suicide and discuss why I believe this is a practice that physicians should shun. Apr 05,  · With the governor’s signature on Thursday, Hawaii has given terminally ill patients the option to decide when they want to die.

The new law, known as the Our Care, Our Choice Act, will make. Under the principle known as “the law of double effect”, medical personnel could be permitted to administer a sufficient quantity of drugs to alleviate the pain even if one of the possible side effects of the treatment is death ().

Physician assisted suicide or euthanasia should be a right granted to all citizens who are suffering from a degenerative, painful, or fatal condition that would cause them to be unable to enjoy to enjoy their lives as healthy people do.

Assisted suicide is suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a physician. The term is often used interchangeably with physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which involves a doctor "knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge or means or both required to commit suicide, including counseling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or.

A critical analysis of physician-assisted suicide.