Health Science and Medicine – Medical Ethics Example

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"Health Science and Medicine" is a perfect example of a paper on medical ethics.   Death can be reasonably imperative depending on the situation leading to it. A reasonable death can take place when individuals decide to take their lives, with assistance from a physician, in order to escape the pain and deprivation that they are experiencing now. The second reasonable death is when a person decides to kill another person in order to relieve the suffering caused by a medically manageable condition or an inborn mental condition. In most cases, the mentally unstable person passes through pain throughout their lives.

It is, therefore, important for the second party to take action and relieve pain from the affected individual. The cases of reasonable death have occurred throughout individual lives. However, the court of Canada disagrees with the reasonable death. Many people have come with concrete reasons to conduct a reasonable death, however, the court has stood firm on their decision. In addition, the court has sentenced some individuals to years in prison for deviating from the court’ s decision. This paper gives two narratives of individuals caught in situations where they are intertwined between the court’ s decision and their decision.

The first situation occurs when Robert Latimer takes her mentally and physically disabled daughter’ s life. The second situation is when Sue Rodriguez, a 42-year-old woman suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), wants the court to give her approval to commit suicide in order to do away with the pain and anguish her and her family passed through.                       Latimer's priority was putting her daughter out of pain regardless of the means used. Apparently, the only means available, now, was killing her.

Surprisingly, the court declared Latimer not guilty. They based their verdict upon the kindness and the urge of Latimer to relieve pain from her daughter. Therefore, the activities conducted by Latimer were ethical. There is no reason to let a person suffer from pain when a person has a solution to relieve the person from pain. Nevertheless, it is important to consider other factors, which Latimer did before taking action. Latimer spends 12 years watching her daughter suffering from pain. From the courts' acts, it was evident that Latimer had established a strong relationship with her daughter.

Therefore, he was aware of his daughter’ s behavior and pain. Looking at 12 years of suffering Latimer lost hopes for medically relieving her daughter from pain. He reasonably killed her daughter.                       Rodrigues on the other hand was in a similar situation. However, she wanted to take her life with the assistance of qualified physicians. The court, however, dismissed her claims even though she had support from sections 7 and 15 of the Charter Rights and Freedom. She used chapter 7 as a platform for proving her right to life, liberty, and security of the person.

She also uses section 15 saying that every individual is equal under the law (Smith, 2012). Therefore, she expected the court to adhere to her claims. The court, however, rejected her claims saying that section 15 could not trump section one saying that no person has a constitutional right to take their lives. The decision made by the court was important (Smith, 2012). If the court for instance had approved her claims, it could have replicated the number of people committing suicide in Canada.                       The two stories are contradictory since the court gave two different decisions in two almost similar situations.

The court understood Latimer’ s situation if he could not have killed her daughter he and his family could have lived in agony as they watched their daughter living in pain. It was unfortunate for Rodriguez when the court rejected her claim. In summary to section one of the Chapter, no one has the right to take his or her life (Smith, 2012).

Section 7 emphasizes that it is important for a man to die in dignity; it is, therefore, unlawful to commit suicide with or without assistance from a physician (Smith, 2012). It is important for people to note that the laws are not against the people even though they do not serve them as they anticipate. For this reason, the jury served Latimer and Rodriguez's situation in the right manner.  


Smith, S, R. (2012). Health science and medicine. New York: Oxford University Press.
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