- Teaching Notes
The Plan: Ethics and Physician Assisted Suicide
Doug M. Post
This case study on physician-assisted suicide is used in a medical ethics course. The case itself is a short article published in 1991 in the New England Journal of Medicine in which Dr. Timothy E. Quill described his care for a patient suffering from acute leukemia, including how he prescribed a lethal dose of barbiturates knowing that the woman intended to commit suicide. As a consequence of the article's publication, a grand jury was convened to consider a charge of manslaughter against Dr. Quill. Students read the case and then, as part of a classroom-simulated trial, discuss physician-assisted suicide in terms of fundamental medical ethics principals. The case could also be used in a graduate-level bioethics class.
|Keywords:||Doctor-assisted suicide; euthanasia; mercy killing; death and dignity; right-to-die; non-maleficence; beneficence; Hippocratic Oath; Timothy Quill; Jack Kevorkian; medical ethics; bioethics|
|Topical Area:||Ethics, Legal issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues|
|Educational Level:||Graduate, Professional (degree program), General public & informal education, Continuing education, Faculty development|
|Type/Method:||Dilemma/Decision, Role-Play, Trial|
|Subject Headings:||Medicine (General) Nursing|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
Case teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience and how the case may be taught, a case analysis or answer key, and references.
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