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Euthanasia and the Right to Die

I need help and guidance on these questions, to help get me started. Thank you.

1. Is Will's request to reprogram the morphine machine justified by an ethical right to decide the course of his own death?
2. Do patients have the right to request that physicians help them die? If so, under what conditions is a physician obligated to deny this request?
3. What circumstances require a physician to agree to help a patient die? Should physicians be granted the absolute right to refuse requests that conflict with his/her professional medical judgment or moral beliefs?

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Interesting and thought-provoking scenario! Let's take a closer look.

1. Is Will's request to reprogram the morphine machine justified by an ethical right to decide the course of his own death?

It depends on the operant laws in the country/state where Will lives e.g. the laws that deal with the issue of euthanasia (physician assisted suicide) and self-induced suicide differ across country and state. The 'ethical right to decide the course of his own death' often does not include the right to end your life, but rather the right to withhold treatments, life supports, and the likes (e.g., with the exception of Oregon in United States) that might prolong your life. There is a difference between taking action to end your life (e.g., lethal dose of morphine) and taking actions NOT to prolong your life through artificial ...

Solution Summary

Based on the case of Will Huckabee, this solution discusses if Will's request to reprogram the morphine machine justified by an ethical right to decide the course of his own death. It further discuses if patients have the right to request that physicians help them die and, if so, under what conditions is a physician obligated to deny or agree with this request. Finally, it discusses if physicians should be granted the absolute right to refuse requests that conflict with his/her professional medical judgment or moral beliefs.

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