Society's Search for a Legal and Ethical Basis of Physician-Assisted Suicide
Rebecca C. Morgan
Stetson University College of Law
D. Dixon Sutherland
Stetson University (DeLand)
A review of the way physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is being addressed in the United States reveal three models, each functioning out of distinctive concepts of autonomy: (1) litigation, which utilizes philosophical autonomy; (2) legislation, which utilizes political autonomy; and (3) act of conscience by a physician, which utilizes consumer autonomy. Each model raises a correspondingly distinct set of ethical questions and challenges centered around their point of reference - the judicial system, voters, or the doctor-patient relationship. The challenge for religion is to address PAS in solidarity with sufferers, physicians, and the community, rather than retreating into iconoclastic dogmas.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: physician-assisted suicide, end-of-life decisionmaking, dying, ethical dilemmas, palliative care, religion and dying
JEL Classification: I10, I19, K10, K19
Date posted: June 6, 2008
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