Euthanasia vs Assisted Suicide

Topics regarding taking the decision to deprive yourself or someone else’s life have always caused controversy, regardless of the religion, race or political parties; assisted suicide and euthanasia are not exception for this statement. Assisted suicide occurs when a physician gives all the pertinent information and mechanisms to the patient, giving him the needs tools to end his own life. In the other hand, euthanasia is when you terminate the life of a person who suffers from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, with the patient’s request.

Nevertheless, there are other cases where some people want their life to be ended even if they do not have a incurable illness. Euthanasia can be either by taking actions, or by not doing what is necessary to maintain someone alive. “We question whether it is medicine’s role to give patients control over the timing and manner of death. ” (Snyder) In some countries euthanasia is legal like Albania, Germany, Canada, among others.

This process consists using a lethal injection, certain amount of pills or not giving the appropriate medication to treat the patient’s condition; the main purpose being reaching death with the less amount of pain. Assistive suicide may be more doable because you’re not literally executing the action, its still having the same common denominator, the same purpose, with the same ending. As a future physician I do not support either of the two. I know that, as a medical doctor is very important to satisfy your patient’s medical needs and respect their autonomy.

Nevertheless, my personal view of the physician’s responsibility is to help to extend a human’s life as most as possible. Yes, I understand the fact that a patient could not tolerate the pain of a certain disease, or the secondary factors of a treatment, but most of the patient’s that considered euthanasia or assisted suicide is because of psychological factors, “dominant reasons for requesting physician-assisted suicide were loss of autonomy (84%), decreasing ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable (84%), and losing control of bodily functions (47%). (Oregon Health Division’s Fifth Annual Report on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act)

This statistics show that people had use their medical condition to end their lives because they are not feeling completely fulfill with what they are living. Now, as a doctor do you think psychological problems is a good cause to assist a patient in their suicidal wishes?