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Physician-Assisted Suicide: Death With Dignity?

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Abstract:

The practice of Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is critiqued using the ethical principle of nonmaleficence and Kant's Categorical Imperative. Currently legal in three states, PAS has significant implications for nurses who are intimately involved in both design and delivery of palliative care. Although the practice has wide range support based upon patient's rights for self-determination, the actual implementation of PAS has documented flaws which should not be underestimated. Alternative solutions to PAS are discussed including increased training and access to end of life care, with open, regular dialogue between healthcare providers and patients about end of life decision making.

Keywords: BENEFICENCE; END OF LIFE CARE; KANT'S CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE; PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/1073-7472.14.3.4.110

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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