Physicians Assisted Suicide

Physicians Assisted Suicide refers to voluntary self-administering of prescribed lethal medication by the patient. Euthanasia is a medical term that refers to the deliberate or direct cause of death by the physician. There are three types of euthanasia: the first one is voluntary euthanasia, in this case, the patient specifically considers taking up his life and he is consistent about it.

Involuntary euthanasia, the patient’s life is cut short against his/her will. Non-voluntary euthanasia, in this scenario the patient is incapacitated and is not in a position to consent or object to the decision of ending his life.

Non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE) has equally been proposed and opposed in the intensive care unit (ICU). Euthanasia is always considered at the intensive care unit basically to enhance numbers and the quality of organs for donations.

All suffering patients who are close to the end of their life are prioritized for quality palliative care. To minimize the request for physicians assisted suicide (PAS), patients are always assured of excellent palliative care and that they will not be abandoned during suffering. The requests for (PAS) are still increasing despite the assurance of excellent symptom control.

Some patients will benefit from an intervention to cause death. There is no need to prolong life if the patient suffers from intolerable pain. Many dying patients will request for physicians assisted suicide, not because of the physical pain but the feeling of lack of control, deterioration, loss of dignity, weakness, tiredness, or pointless suffering.

Death is not a pleasant experience although sometimes it is justifiable to end a patient’s life deliberately so as to end any form of suffering. It is sometimes right to accept the positive aspect of being alive might outweigh the burden of being alive and suffering. 

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