2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

No Way Out: A Look at the Need for Physician Assisted Death in End of Life Care
Danielle R. Dale
Dr. David Murphy and Dr. Gerald Osborn, Faculty Mentors

The debate surrounding the issue of whether to allow individuals to hasten their death through physician assistance is at the forefront of biomedical ethics. Currently only one state allows individuals to receive physician assistance to end their life early. Current legislation and medical practices set up the need for the geriatric community to have the option of physician-assisted death. In this paper I discuss the current option available to patients that wish to take control of the timing of their death (the refusal of life-saving treatment) and set up the argument that this option fails to solve many of the practical and ethical issues concerning end of life treatment. I will look at court rulings, arguments by ethical theorists, and our current medical system to elaborate on the ethical gap left by this current option and the need for another option, physician assistance in dying.

Keywords: end of life, physician-assisted death, geriatrics

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 54-5
Location: VH 1212
Time: 3:45

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