What are at least two facts presented by each side of the critical issue?
According to the pro side of the argument, putting into consideration behavioral research and clinical experience, psychiatrists are inevitable for any sick person to die quickly. Also, public opinion polls indicate that most people prefer terminally ill patients to be assisted by physicians in suicide.
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The con side, on the other hand, believes that the “safeguard” takes advantage of a scientific clinical course of action. This, they use to conceal the conflict of ideas about suicide in society. It in turn leads to the shifting of responsibility of a dilemma from a patient or his close associates to an external specialist (Halgin, 2008).
What are at least two opinions presented by each side of the critical issue?
The pro side thinks a psychiatrist is useful in determining whether the patient can make a reasonable and sensible choice about losing a life. Also, skilled mental health professionals and psychologists have enough experience. Very few people appreciate this fact. This is rife in cases where patients and their close associates are obligated to deal with issues that involve the termination of life (Halgin, 2008).
The con side postulates that proficiency is not a scientific but a complicated social paradigm hence finding out sufficient capacity to make a decision is difficult. Psychologists should not be empowered to bring themselves into play as determinants of the correct moment for the death of an individual (Halgin, 2008).
What are some of the strengths associated with the Pro side of the issue? What are some of the weaknesses?
A lot of apprehensions occurs when a terminally ill patient requests for a quickened death (Halgin, 2008). Downheartedness and thoughts of suicide overwhelm most of these people. From research carried out in the year 1994, most physicians with little knowledge in psychiatry were unable to diagnose these. From this, the researchers concluded that mental disorders could not damage the insinuation of these people thus; their reasoning to rationalize suicide is different from clinically depressed people (Halgin, 2008). Mental health professionals can treat this depression by disconnecting the patient’s fears.
There is no straightforward modus operandi describing what drives one to have suicidal thoughts. In line with this research has found out that the key thing needed by these patients is mollifying and sufficient psychosocial care at their deathbed.
The pro side does not explain the effects of improved social-psychological supports and improved palliative care on the hastened death ideation of terminally ill patients. They have also not explained how certain issues, such as religious beliefs affect an individual for end-of-life decisions.
What are some of the strengths associated with the Con side of the issue? What are some of the weaknesses?
There is full backing for a required psychiatric assessment to authenticate the competence of any individual that requests for physician-assisted suicide at any given time (Halgin, 2008). Those psychiatrists that have taken care of these patients with suicidal thoughts can attest to how to a very large margin these patients can have mixed feelings about suicide (Halgin, 2008). Suicide is a perfect specimen for Parsonian analysis because society has adopted a varied number of models for apprehending and dealing with suicide (Halgin, 2008). These models may either be clashing or matching.
Initially suicide many considered suicide as a choice and hence the need to consider the legal framework in handling it. Many views depicted it as a punishable crime that not only attacked an individual but also the general community at large (Halgin, 2008). When viewed in terms of religion, suicide is still a choice, but the disqualifying factor is the fact that the key values that signify that it violates a human being. A good example is the Catholic Church that is opposed to any given form of suicide (Halgin, 2008).
The modern medical model takes suicide as a sign of mental illness rather than a practice of free will by an individual. What cements this is the fact that studies link it to treatable psychiatric disorders. From similar studies, treatment of these disorders decreases the rate of suicide cases by a wide margin. The chief opinion is that the main psychiatrists should be there to treat the patients and not just to watch them.
Though the psychiatric may be willing to treat the patients, the patient decides whether to have it.
How credible were the authors of each argument?
Both authors for the pro and con side have registered a high level of credibility in their arguments. This is by the concise way in which they lay their arguments, supporting them with relevant facts and research findings (Halgin, 2008). It is also worth noting that their experience overtime in their profession is also very instrumental in the opinions that they give concerning the idea of whether psychiatrists should serve as gatekeepers for these suicide cases or not. It is also clear from their arguments that they are not just being hypothetical but, rather, they appreciate that the other side’s opinions only the difference arises due to several strengths.
Based on the statements presented in this critical issue, which author do you agree with? Why?
I agree with the cons side. It is because I believe human life is of great importance and hence very valuable. I, therefore, fall for the idea that these psychiatrists should not just act as gatekeepers to see people lose their lives, but their main aim should be to try their best to ensure life is preserved (Halgin, 2008).
Which side of this critical issue does contemporary research support?
Contemporary research supports the cons side of the argument. It is clear when we from that, according to research, mental disorders cause suicidal thoughts, and the same research reveals that these disorders are treatable. There is, therefore, no doubt that suicidal thoughts are treatable rather than letting patients succumb to them.
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Halgin, R. (2008). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Abnormal Psychology. New York: McGraw-hill.