Several weeks ago on November 1, 2014, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, who suffered from terminal brain cancer, took drugs to end her life surrounded by her family. This was preceded by months of despair and anguish, but also by love and a lust for life as the young woman describes in several videos she recorded to fight for the right to die with dignity.
Modern medical technology shortens and makes care processes easier, while it ensures the safety of patients at the same time. However, monitoring or electronic sensors for remote surveillance keep being accompanied by ethical violations. Patients feel like they are being watched and in the worst-case scenario, robbed of their freedom and autonomy.
How does a physician handle a patient, who wants to die and what rights do I actually have as a patient? Legal practitioners do not automatically answer these and other questions. We talked about this subject with MD-PhD Ralf Jox from the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Germany.