Ethics in physician-assisted dying and euthanasia

  • Brandi McKinnon
  • Menfil Orellana-Barrios
Keywords: Physician-assisted suicide, physician-assisted dying, euthanasia, medical ethics


The definitions of physician-assisted dying, passive euthanasia, and active euthanasia are
reviewed. The ethical implications of physician-assisted dying are also examined. Proponents
argue that physician-assisted dying is a more respectful and dignified way for terminally ill
patients to die. However, opponents claim that physician-assisted dying devalues human life,
which should be treasured and protected. A majority of the general population and physicians
support physician-assisted dying, but there is a need for medical societies to develop training,
support, and implementation standards to aid physicians in this process. Ethics committee’s
may help fill this gap and provide institutional resources and mediation of value conflicts.


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How to Cite
McKinnon, B., & Orellana-Barrios, M. (2019). Ethics in physician-assisted dying and euthanasia. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 7(30), 36-42.