Patient Autonomy

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Arguments in favor of PAS and VAE In addition to the points that address the objections there are arguments that support PAS and VAE. Patient Autonomy is one of the two major arguments for PAS and VAE. Important matters such as life, death, and suffering require people’s self-determination (Arras, 1997). The other is that PAS and VAE are considered to be merciful because they relieve terminally ill patients of their painful and protracted death. It prevents the possibility of dying in chronic, uncontrolled pain, without dignity and control over one’s body. As in the Quill (1991) case, some patients rather dying at their own preferred time to prevent the negative effects of dying from a terminal disease. Though some patients could be given…show more content…
The safeguards should be put in place to lessen the risk of error, abuse, or coercion. The first safeguard is that physicians should explore reasons behind each request (McGough, Back, and Colley, 1997). Physicians should critically review the patient’s current medical and psychological care and determine if the decision is consistent with the patient’s long-held values. Patients must be suffering from a terminal illness, must be undergoing intolerable suffering or pain, and show that they are mentally competent. There should be evidence that palliative care was offered and has proven to be ineffective and that another independent physician agrees with the decision of patient death. Psychiatrists/Psychologists should also evaluate whether the decision is based on depression or not and make efforts to relieve that depression before considering death (Quill 1991). The patient must also give informed consent and so must be fully knowledgeable about the lethality of the disease and the decision they are making, as well as the alternative options available (Quill et al., 1997). Programs for documenting, reporting, and reviewing cases in a private manner should be put in place to lessen the likelihood of
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