Law and Code of Ethics.

This week, you looked at the provider and patient rights. The assignment this week gives you a chance to look at a state law that provides the right for patients to die with dignity and compare the patient’s right with the ethical duty of physicians set forth in the AMA’s Code of Ethics.

You will write an essay that compares and contrasts the law and Code of Ethics as it applies to your state. Incorporate the following into your essay:

  1. Referring directly to the law, provide verbiage for what a provider is or is not allowed to do.
  2. What requirements must be present for a patient asking for death-hastening medication?
  3. Describe what the AMA’s Code of Ethic’s stance is on these procedures, including any additional opinions published by the AMA.
  4. Explain the challenging ethical decision-making process a provider must go through in this case.
  5. How might this situation be resolved for a legal and ethical resolution?

Length: 3-4 pages, not including title page

References: The AMA Code Ethics.


Answer preview

Death with dignity legislation is grounded on the basic premise that it is the terminally ill patients who should decide how much pain and suffering they should endure, and not doctors, religious leaders, or the government (Oregon Revised Statutes, 1994). So far, eight states and Washington DC have death with dignity statutes; California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont. Generally, under death with dignity statutes, adult residents of sound mind who suffer from a terminal illness, with an ascertained prognosis stating that they have six or less months to live, can request prescription medication to expedite their imminent death.

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