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Advance care planning is a process aimed at extending the rights of competent adults to guide their medical care through periods of decisional incapacity. The process, when accomplished comprehensively, involves three steps:(1) thinking through one’s values and preferences, (2) talking about one’s values and preferences with others, and (3) documenting them.
Competence is the ability of an individual to be responsible for his or her own decisions in a specific matter. Decisional capacity is a form of competence. This is the ability of an individual to make a rational choice in his or her own best interest. Someone can be competent on a specific matter, while being incompetent on another matter.
Informed consent is the term for the permission given by a patient to a physician to conduct a medical procedure, after the patient is made fully aware of the facts, implications and consequences of the procedure.
Some ethicists have argued that what will begin as a right of patients to request aid-in-dying from their physicians under specified conditions will eventually become a duty. Autonomy works for both patients and physicians. Physicians should not be required to assist in dying, just as they are not required to perform other surgical procedures they are morally opposed to.
An argument frequently used against changing the law, which states that it is impossible to set secure limits. Under this argument, it is claimed that (voluntary) euthanasia would eventually and inevitably lead to non-voluntary or even involuntary euthanasia.
Those who argue that assisted dying is ethically justifiable offer the following sorts of arguments:
Those that argue that assisted dying should be/remain illegal often offer arguments such as these: