Differentiate between allowing a patient to die and physician-assisted suicide. What are the legal implications of the two concepts? What moral implications do they have? Why are doctors reluctant to abide by patient or family wishes to stop life support machines?
Allowing a patient to die is when a person takes steps to cease bodily functions necessary to sustain life (brain and heart and other vital organs). Physician-assisted suicide is when a trained medical professional takes measures which lead to stopping the heart and breathing oxygen, vital to life. In most places it is illegal to take one's own life and the purpose of medicine is to keep one alive, where doctors sign an oath indicating they will work toward that goal.
According to the Journal Association of Nursing AIDS Care 1998 Mar-Apr; 9(2):34-44.Historical, ethical, and legal aspects of assisted suicide. Benedict S, Pierce AG, Sweeney S. College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, USA the "four cardinal ...
Literature review and discussion on patient death is discussed.