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Assisted Suicide Paper February 26 2004 Abstract The need to have an understanding of the moral legal and ethical issues facing clinicians dealing with end of life issues Those who treat patients approaching the end of life often face moral ethical and legal issues involving shared decision-making futility the right to refuse medical treatment euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide This paper will address the following An overview of the topic the Pros and Cons Existing states laws Dr Kevorkians role along with patient autonomy Sanctity of life- pain and suffering and Doctor-patient relationship and potential abuse Assisted Suicide Paper The principal problem involves the appropriate use of technology at the end of life While developments in technology have enhanced our ability to prolong life issues have also arisen regarding the resulting quality of life the sometimes-marginal benefits to our patients and the burdens that this technology imposes on patients families and society Legal and ethical issues continue to confront patients courts and physicians A better understanding of these issues and an awareness of the availability of effective palliative care will help physicians patients and families adequately address the end-of-life issues that are an intrinsic part of medical care Leone 1999 Introduction Medicines technical advances of the past few decades have cast a shadow over its long-held ethic of compassionate care The main problem has been the appropriate use of technology at the end of life Should it be used on everyone regardless of the chance of a successful outcome or the burdens it imposes If not what ethical parameters guide the use and non-use of medical interventions These questions are most sharp at the end of life because the burdens of intervention are often high the benefits are marginal and quality of life is markedly diminished This course reviews the ethical principles that guide medical practice and then focuses on end-of-life ethical issues such as the right to life-sustaining therapy medical
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