Euthanasia

Euthanasia Euthanasia, is one of the most controversial issues of our time. This diver se issue raises many questions such as: how should decisions be made, and by whom? What should be determined as a matter of law and what left a matter of discretion and judgment? Should those who want to die, or who are in a “persistent vegetative state” be allowed to die voluntarily? Who should decide: the patient, the physician, the courts, or the families? The pro-euthanasia arguments turn on the individual case of the patient in pain, suffering at the center of an intolerable existence. When life becomes nbearable, quick death can be the answer. If living persons become so ill that they cannot tolerate the pain they have a “right to die” to an escape from torment. So long as the right to die means not prolonging the life by undesireable treatment, it may be classified as rational suicide.

The term “euthanasia” means “good health” or “well dying”; it is derived from the Greek “eu” and “thanatos”. In its classical sense, it is a descriptive term referring to an easy death as opposed to an agonizing or tormented dying. In Greek literature, euthanasia connoted a “happy death, an ideal and coveted end to a full and pleasant life.” The concern to die well is as old as humanity itself, for the questions surrounding death belong to the essence of being human. All people die, but apparently only people know they are to die. They live with the truth that life is under the sentence of death.

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Thus, from the “beginning of the species concern with how one dies has been an implicit part of the human attempt to come to terms with death.” (Paul D. Simmons, 112) There is still a question involved in the contemporary debates about euthanasia which is posed by a case such as the terminally ill who are dying. The issue concerns the morality of mercy in aiding the dying patient. The question goes beyond simply withdrawing treatments. The issue is whether, in the name of mercy, one might morally aid someone’s dying? “Are circumstances under which it is morally responsible to terminate a person, or does lovealways require resisting death through every means possible?” (Wickett, 109) Paul D. Simmons declares bluntly that “it is harder morally to justify letting somebody die a slow and ugly death, dehumanized, than it is to justify helping him to escape from such misery. (Samuel Gorovitz, 113) Some very prominent people are making packs with friends or relatives that specify that either will help the other die when life becomes desperate from pain or tragic accident.

Families and physicians feel a variety of powerful emotions when dealing with a patient dying a slow and agonizing death. Certainly they wish that the pain were relieved and that health restored; that the patient not die but go on living and sharing concerns and joys together. “When the illness is terminal and there is no hope of relief or recovery, however, death is often desired for the patient as God’s appointed way to relieve suffering.” (Paul D. Simmons, 116) Mr. Sorestad, my junior high teacher, shared his experience at the death of his beloved wife after her prolonged battle with breast cancer. She had deteriorated physically and mentally practically beyond recognition. “I prayed for death,” he had said, “because I loved her so much and could not bear to see her suffer so.

And when death finally came, I thanked God for his good gift.” She’d had enough, made her choice, and her choice was honored. But suppose that Mrs. Sorestad had asked her husband to help her die! He felt already that death was imminent and desirable. As a true Christian, he felt that death would be a merciful relief of pain and suffering. He was morally justified to act out his love for his wife by ending her suffering life in a painless manner. “The meaning of death, the morality of taking or ending life of one’s own spouse or the “relationship of the person to the processes of nature and the activity of God in one’s life.” (Ann Wickett, 109) This issue raised concerns to doctors.

Even the best doctors, given all the pressures that they must bear, could “benefit from more structured ways of remaining informed about how their efforts are viewed by their patients.” (Samuel Gorovitz, 10) Importantly, it also heightened my curiosity about what it is like to be a physician c about what sorts of problems and pressures sustain their distance and separateness, and make it so hard for them to be open to new ideas from outside their profession. Most doctors found themselves spending more time than ever before dealing with decisions they were never trained to make decisions at the edge of life. Where the question “is what can be done for the patient.” (Thomas W. Case, 25 & 26). He is uncomfortable when the issue turns from how to sustain a patient’s life to such questions as whether to stop providing nourishment, thereby, to end a patient’s life. It is strongly believed that physicians can play a positive role in the active euthanasia of mentally competent, terminally ill people who request assistance in ending their own lives.

It is crucial that physicians who choose to help dying patients in this way should be “free to do so without the fear of criminal prosecution”. (Ann Wickett, 87). There are those who will say that active euthanasia is not part of the physician’s role and never has been. Historical evidence, however, indicates that it was “common practice for Grecian and Roman physicians to assist in suicide”. (Thomas W. Case, 50). Physicians are not alone in having a high rate of stress impairment; other high stress occupations also have such problems.

The choices and challenges faced by today’s doctors, and the “reality of their complex relationships with patients, peers, and social situations have left the hippocratic oath behind.” (Paul D. Simmons, 108). Doctors are no doubt eager toexplain about the stresses they must bear in the face of difficult decisions. They have their responsibilities, but should they support the patient’s position, or should they stay out of it? Should they side with the family? These are very hard questions for them to face. They could avoid those decisions if they could, but there are too many pressures to allow them that comfortable escape.

They come from many directions. “The most compelling pressure is the concern for the interests of patients; they realize that some patients may be harmed rather than helped by life sustaining treatment.” (Paul D. Simmons, 201). Some cases have yielded mixed results in state courts, and the Supreme Court, that restricts the rights of family members to direct the withdrawal of such treatment in the absence of written evidence of the patient’s wishes that is clear and compelling. There is a legitimate public interest in preventing such outcomes no matter what the patient would have wanted. The decision to forgo lifesustaining treatment must surely be as hard as any that arises in a hospital or within a family. Principles to guide such a decision are elusive, because whenever the question arises, some of our most cherished values are in conflict.

People believe in the value of life but it is not clear that all life has value no matter what. People believe that suffering should be reduced, but sometimes that means shortening life. People also believe that patients’ wishes should be respected, but that seems not always best for the patients. It is expected of doctors to be a strong champions of life, but people fear their capacity to impose continue life. Cardinal John J. O’Connor, writhing in Catholic New York (July 20, 1989), explained why he refrained from supporting the euthanasia bill, affirming that any concern for therelief of human suffering should be tempered by a respect for what he calls the “tremendous potential of suffering”: frightening number of people are being condemned to death by the courts, at the request of loved one or “proxies,” or by their own personal requests.

The reason: They are suffering ‘needlessly’; their lives are ‘useless’; they are terminally ill, or comatose, or have nothing to live for.’ Of course, there are many things that doctors do know best, and how to prolong the life of a seriously ill patient is among them. There is also a deep and geniune commitment among physicians the occasional medical rogue aside c to serving the interests of their patients. That commitment can lead to zealousness in defense of life, a zealousness that can distort the physician’s judgment about just what is in the patient’s interest. And, increasingly, there is the fear of legal jeopardy. It is the physicians’ role to educate the patient by discussing both the state well being and the indicated treatments.

The risks and benefits of each treatment option must be thoroughly discussed. It is the patient’s role to evaluate this information in light of his or her present level of physical and social, spiritual, and psychololgical needs. It is hard to say that the family has the right to demand that the doctor pull the plug just because they thought the patient “would never want to live like this”. Despite their confused state, the family urges the physician to withhold the tube, thereby hastening death. The issue, quality of life, is perceived by the family: No one has the right to judge that another’s life is not worth living. The basic right to life should not be abridged because someone decides that someone else’s ‘quality of life’ is too low.

Once we base the right to life on ‘quality of life’ standards, there is no logical place to draw the line. Dying is not something any of us really look forward to, but it is a natural process that we can use to come to terms with ourselves. It is indeed our last chance to become our best selves. Few of us like pain and suffering, and only those of us who are “profoundly religious can find meaning in them”. (Thomas W. Case, 28-29).

We ameliorate human suffering when cure is not possible, and we provide structure for people in times of chaos. We need not view this inevitable part of the lifecycle as evil. WORKS CITED Case, Thomas W. “National Review,” Dying Made Easy. New York: Neal Bernards, Inc. November 4, 1991, pp.

25c26. Gorovitz, Samuel. Drawing the Line: Life, Death, and Ethical Choices in an American Hospital New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Simmons, Paul D. Birth an d Death: Bioethical Decision Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1983. Tong, Rosemarie.

“Current,”Euthanasia in the 1990’s: Dying “Good Death. New York: Harper Collins Publishing, March 1993, pp. 27c33. Wickett, Ann. The Right To Die: Understanding Euthanasia. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1986.

Euthanasia

.. ermany upon the legalization of assisted suicide. The opposition also fears that more and more physicians will become insistent in their roles with assisted suicide, and begin to offer and urge it on patients who have become not only depressed about their circumstances, but also a burden to themselves and to others, even an economic burden. They also feel that the doctor-patient relationship depends solely on trust, and if the public begins to mistrust the profession of medicine, because its unhealthy participation in death-dealing, then the profession of medicine itself will suffer irreversible losses. They also see the potential for physicians having the ultimate power of life and death in their hands as being an instigator to infringement and control over an individuals life. Lastly, the opposition feels that more often than not, euthanasia would be offered before all moral, political and social ramifications have been considered.

On the contrary, there are many that argue in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide. In fact, euthanasia is commonly practiced legally throughout the Netherlands. Euthanasia can easily seen as a method allowing an individual to die peacefully and painlessly if they are suffering from an incurable sickness. In 1991 an estimated 516,170 Americans died from cancer. If 5% of these people died suffering with severe pain, this surmounts to 25,809 people dying a painful death that could have been eased with assisted suicide. This statistic clearly proves that there are a considerable number of people that are suffering painful deaths in areas that the medical field has been able to remedy. If a patient is physically and emotionally competent and able to coherently understand their dainty condition, the option of euthanasia and a peaceful death should rightfully be presented.

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For patients that are suffering from terminal cancer and other incurable sicknesses, pain is by no means the only cause of their suffering. Other common symptoms of terminally ill patients are weakness, pain, anorexia, dyspnea, nausea/vomiting, confusion, pressure sores, fecal incontinence, as well as offensive odors. Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a publicly well-known advocate and practitioner of assisted suicide argues that in the current state of law and medicine, individuals with degenerative diseases must decide either to take their own life during the stage of their impairment when they are still capable, or suffer the grim realities of a lingering decline. Individuals deserve the right to have control over their lives and to the autonomy they are entitled to. Those in favor of euthanasia agree that it is an individuals constitutional right to be offered a painless cure to their suffering.

The principle of respect for autonomy tells us to allow rational individuals to live their lives according to their own autonomous decisions without any interference. If rational individuals independently chose to die, then proper respect for autonomy will allow physicians to assist them in doing so. The goal of medicine is to address the suffering of patients. As the suffering increases intractable to relief, if requested by the patient, the medical field should offer euthanizing relief if no other options are available. This by no means delineates that a person should be forced into assisted suicide regardless of their social, political or economic stature. Assisted suicide should merely be an option mentioned to the patient, moreover would be permissible to execute upon a patients request. Supporters also argue that the responsibility for technology should exist for these individuals as well.

Medical technology has made efforts to gain terminally ill patients some additional time; likewise, medicine must recognize when they are unable to further help such patients. Scientific research for cures in these areas should continue; however, in the mean time technological methods to relieve the pain for those via lethal injection should be offered. Furthermore, when science is able to find a cure, there will be no need for the assisted suicide. Euthanasia is not trying to replace scientific research, but it offers a relief to the incurable pain and suffering that research has not yet corrected. Addition concern should be devoted to the individuals autonomy. The personal decision to end ones life whether it is because of terminal pain or merely faced with old age, suicide should be honored. However, a firm criteria for this must be established to prevent abuse.

The following are some of the few guidelines The patient must fully understand their current medical condition and must be mentally aware that assisted suicide is an irreversible action; moreover, the patient must request assisted suicide on their own will. The patients suffering must also be validated by a physician as not being caused from inapt care. A second, non-affiliated physician should make consultation, thus ensuring that the patients judgement is not distorted. The rise of “patients rights” in current medical ethics debates will undoubtedly bring euthanasia closer to being legalized in the United States. Those who support autonomy in biomedical ethics have been promoting the right for patients to ask for assistance in death.

The supporters of assisted suicide have established numerous reasons as to why euthanasia is a morally and legally legitimate practice. These supporters have also instituted particular safeguarding procedures preventing against abuse. Specific committee review boards have been devised to examine the patients competence, the voluntariness of the request, and the terminal condition in which the patients suffers from. The euthanasia committees would consist of interdisciplinary panels of clinicians, ethicists, lawyers, as well as laypersons. With a diversified professional panel, the committee will effectively be able to analyze the patients competency levels as well as the severity of the individuals suffering. Corresponding interviews will be conducted assuring the patients genuine desire to carry out the procedure, and that he or she is not suffering from a mental or psychological impairment. The committees purpose is not to agree or disagree with the patients decision in whether or not to proceed with assisted suicide; rather it determines the patients psychological ability to make such a decision.

This does not impose euthanasia, but it morally and legally sanctions the procedure because it is of the individuals own will. Now that both sides to the Euthanasia controversy have been described. I feel that I am prepared to present my perspective on the issue. As an undergraduate student studying to go into the medical field. I am an avid supporter of medical research to find cures for terminal diseases as well as more effective methods to relief pain in such patients. In situations where medicine is presently unable to treat or relief an illness, I feel that it is an individuals autonomous right to end their life if the suffering has reached an unbearable level.

I see physicianassisted suicide as being a legitimate option if there is no further medical assistance that can relief a persons illness. By no means am I discrediting medical research; however, in cases where no medical help can be provided I feel that euthanasia should be an option upon request. An individual should not be pressured into the procedure; however, it is a persons constitutional right to end their terminal suffering. I believe that assisted suicide should be available upon request by licensed practitioners regardless of an individuals social, economic or political status. I feel that euthanasia should only be legalized under very specific guidelines. I agree that there should be an established committee that analyzes the competency of the patients mental status, thus assuring that the patient is fully able to make such an irreversible decision.

I see Euthanasia as being a justifiable procedure provided that the patient is not forced into doing anything that they do not desire, and that there is an assurance that the patient will be capable to make such a decision. With the proper safeguarding against abuse, physician-assisted suicide is a moral option to those in need of a way out of their terminal suffering.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia
Michael Wilson
FYSM 136-01
9/15/96
Professor Lee
A long time ago, culture was universal and permanent. There was one set
of beliefs, ideals, and norms, and these were the standard for all human beings
in all places and all times. We, however, live in the modern world. Our ethics
are not an inheritance of the past, completed and ready for universal
application. We are in the situation of having to form our own beliefs and
meanings of life. This struggle is now obvious in the contemporary discussions
of euthanasia.

Of the controversial discussions involving euthanasia, the question of
legalization is an often argued one. Whether euthanasia ought to be illegal is
different from the question of whether it is immoral.Some people believe that
even if euthanasia is immoral, it still should not be prohibited by law, since
if a patient wants to die, that is strictly a personal affair, regardless of how
foolish or immoral the desire might be. Rachels, 56 My position is almost
identical. I believe there are some instances in which euthanasia is immoral,
but I believe it should unquestionably be legal. In the following paragraphs, I
will display the position of the opposition to the legality of euthanasia as
well as the position of the supporters. I shall attempt to prove that, yes,
euthanasia should be legal. There is a strong opposition against the
legalization of euthanasia. The main argument against the legality of
euthanasia is sometimes known as the slippery slope argument. People argue that
if euthanasia was legally permitted, it would lead to a general decline in the
respect for human life. It is professed that we would kill people in the
beginning simply to put them out of extreme agony. This is the ideal. But the
opposition states that the killing of people wouldn’t stop here. The killing
could perhaps escalate to mass murder of innocent victims. When would the
killing stop? This is what scares the opponent. The opponents argue that once
something is accepted, we have no right to deny other similar practices. This
is when doctors and patients would start taking advantage of the new law.

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Therefore, the first step should not be taken.

I disagree with this notion and believe that there would hardly be any
abuse of the new law. I have formed three reasons why euthanasia ought to be
legal. First, history tells us that mercy killers have generally been let off
easy in court. In the case of Hans Florian, a man who shot his elderly wife to
death because she had lost her mind to Alzheimer’s disease, the grand jury
refused to indict him. His argument was that he shot her because he feared that
he might die first and then she would be left alone Rachels, 57. As in this
case and numerous others, the killers are usually let off easy because of
sympathetic jury members or judges. For this reason, euthanasia should be legal,
for it goes along with current attitudes in the courtroom. Secondly, the
constitution states that were are all allotted our certain unalienable rights to
“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Since we have this right to life,
it is our right to decide what we want to do with our lives, and no one else’s
right to tell us what to do.The third proponent to my reasoning is something
called Mill’s Principle. This principle states that people should be free to
live their lives as they themselves think best, as long as they are not doing
harm to others Merkov, 21.Also, this principle only applies to people who
are competent and can make rational decisions.For if one is not in their
right frame of mind, they could make an ill-fated decision on their life.

Euthanasia should be legalized because it is inhumane to allow people to
continue suffering when they request release by rapid and painless termination
of life. Patients frequently suffer agony from pain that is uncontrollable.

Administration of death is the only effective release from suffering in these
situations.

If a person is in excruciating pain day and night, or if they are living
vegetables in a permanent and unrelenting comatose with no hope for life,
shouldn’t they be allowed to end their lives legally. In ending the patient’s
life, you put an end not only to their agony, but the agony of their families
and friends who must watch them suffer. None of this would be possible without
the legalization of euthanasia. Moreover, it would put less pressure on family
members knowing that the act was committed legally.

In conclusion, the advantages of legalizing euthanasia outweigh the
advantages of illegalization.

It is highly unlikely that the legalization would lead to an over abuse
of the rule. Of course there will always be some abusers, but not enough to
cause panic. Once again, it is one’s individual right to decide what he or she
wishes to do with their lives. I believe it is no one else’s business to have
the final say in what you do with your life. If a person is on their death bed
and wishes to end there existence before matters complicate, they should legally
have that right.


Philosophy

euthanasia

euthanasia: The argument comes down to whether a patient has the legal
right to ask their doctor to help them die when the end of life is near and the
suffering is severe. I believe that if a person is terminally ill, and is in
immense amounts of pain, that it is their legal right, to end their life
prematurely, with their doctors assistance.

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Category:
social issues
Paper Title:
euthanasia
Text:
Outline
The argument comes down to whether a patient has the legal right to ask their
doctor to help them die when the end of life is near and the suffering is
severe. I believe that if a person is terminally ill, and is in immense amounts
of pain, that it is their legal right, to end their life prematurely, with their
doctors assistance.

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I. The different types of euthanasia
A. Passive euthanasia: acceleration of death by the removal of life support
B. Active euthanasia: a doctor directly assists in the death of a person
C. Physician Assisted Suicide: physician supplies the resources for
committing suicide
II. An example of euthanasia
A. Article, Its Over Debbie
III. Legalization of euthanasia
A. Euthanasia is legal in Japan, the Netherlands, and Oregon
B. Bills to make euthanasia have been denied in the United States
IV. Netherlands guidelines for euthanasia
A. It must be voluntary
B. Requests must not be made on impulse or based on depression
C. The pain must be considered unacceptable suffering
D. A second opinion must be had
E. A well documented report must be written by the doctor
V. Religious aspects of euthanasia
A. Conservative group beliefs vs. liberal group beliefs
B. What God says about euthanasia
VI. Survey of terminally ill cancer patients
A. Cancer patients are the largest group to accept euthanasia
VII. When euthanasia is used
A. Only with people who are terminally ill and who are suffering
VIII. My opinion on euthanasia
A. A person has the freedom to choose what they do with their life
B. Euthanasia is not suicide
C. It is the patients free will to decide how their life is ended
Whether to permit euthanasia is among the most argumentative legal and public
policy questions in America today. The argument comes down to whether a patient
has the legal right to ask their doctor to help them die when the end of life is
near and the suffering is severe. I believe that if a person is terminally ill,
and is in immense amounts of pain, that it is their legal right, to end their
life prematurely, with their doctors assistance.

The word euthanasia originated from the Greek language: eu means good
and thanatos means death (Article, Euthanasia). The meaning of
the word is the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit
request of the person who dies. (Article, Euthanasia). When people hear
the word euthanasia they usually think its meaning is either the termination of
life at the patients request, or as the Nazi extermination program of murder.

Passive euthanasia is the acceleration of death for a person by removing some
form of support and letting nature take its course. An example of passive
euthanasia is the removal of life support, (a respirator) and therefore allowing
a person to die. This procedure is performed on people with massive brain damage
who are in a coma and cannot possibly regain consciousness.

Active Euthanasia is where a person asks a doctor to directly assist them in
dying. These patients are usually terminally ill, and suffering tremendously,
and they want a quick, painless exit from life. A famous promoter of this is Dr.

Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician. He claims to have assisted in more than
130 suicides. His method is to inject a controlled substance into a patient,
therefore causing death.

Physician Assisted Suicide, or voluntary passive euthanasia, is where a
physician supplies the resources for committing suicide to a person, so that
they can terminate their own life. The physician will usually give a
prescription for a lethal dose of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide
gas. Dr. Kevorkian has also used this method, he provides a f
In 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association printed an anonymous
article entitled Its Over Debbie. The article describes how the author
administered a lethal injection to a terminally ill cancer patient, whom he had
never met. Since it was anonymous, we dont know if it was a true story, or if
it was fabricated to open the peoples eyes to what euthanasia is.

e the first state in the United States to legalize euthanasia. Many states,
including Arizona, California, Michigan, and Rhode Island, have introduced bills
to legalize euthanasia, but so far none have passed.

The Netherlands has the most liberal euthanasia guidelines of anywhere that
it is legal. The following are the guidelines that must be followed: the patient
must make the request voluntarily and not under the pressure from others.

Requests will not be excepted if made on impulse or if based on depression. Also
the patient must be experiencing a pain that is considered unbearable. There
must also be a second opinion by another physician. And lastly a report must be
written describing the patients history, and why the decision was made.

A number of religious organizations have issued statements on euthanasia
declaring where they stand on the issue. Official church policies usually oppose
euthanasia. Conservative religious groups tend to be vocal in their opposition
to euthanasia. The Roman Catholic Church is strongly against the legalization
euthanasia. Liberal religious groups like, Methodists, Presbyterians, and
Quakers, tend to lean in favor of the individuals right to choose.

Conservative religious groups say that euthanasia violates a persons
natural desire to live, and also that life is a gift from God, and only God
should be allowed to end that life. They also say that God will not give a
person anything that they cannot handle, and that suffering is a punishment for
ones sins.

Recently Keith G. Wilson, PhD, from The Rehabilitation Centre, Ottawa, Canada
surveyed 70 terminally ill cancer patients. 73% of the patients said that
euthanasia should be legalized because of the pain and their right to chose. 58%
said that in the near future they would, most likely, want to make a request for
an accelerated death. They felt more hopelessness and they had more desire to
die. (Cancer Weekly)
Euthanasia is only to be used with people that have no hope, and no desire to
live anymore, it is both physical and mental. Euthanasia would be used for a
person who just simply wants to die with dignity before they become very sick.

The people that would fall into this group are people who have the diseases
Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, Alzheimers, etc. They dont want to prolong the
inevitable, and be in pain for an unknown time period.

I think that a person has the freedom to choose what they do with there life.

And if that person is terminally ill, and is in so much pain that they cannot
function as they did before the illness, they have the right to end their life
in a dignified manor. I am not a supporter of suicide, but I do not think that
euthanasia is a form of suicide. It is a way to die without suffering. Not just
anyone is able to die by euthanasia, there are strict guidelines that must be
followed, and only those that fit the description are allowed to follow through
with it. Again it is by the patients free will to choose this way to end their
life, and no one elses!
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Euthanasia

Euthanasia
Because our medical technology has improved so much, we are literally able to postpone death. People suffering from incurable diseases or injuries that would have died are being kept alive on machines. Because of this, people have argued for years over the legality of euthanasia. Some believe people should die with honor and not suffer. Others simply call it assisted suicide. Euthanasia should be an option for patients in extreme medical situations.
The word euthanasia simply means an easy or painless death (eu meaning well, thanatos meaning death). Euthanasia was first started by the Greeks and has spread throughout the world (Koop 88). Although the act of euthanasia is quite simple, there are two different types: active and passive. Active euthanasia is when life is ended directly by administering a drug of lethal dose. Passive euthanasia is administered by the withdrawal of life-support devices, medications, and even fluids (Barnard 27). Active euthanasia is illegal and has been debated in the courts while passive is generally left up to the physician and the family.

Many people argue against euthanasia saying that life should be preserved at all costs. Doctors, for example, take an oath to preserve life and ease pain. There are many cases when the doctor of a critically ill patient is requested by the family to stop the medical treatment and let the patient die. The doctor either refuses or delays the act prior to the miraculous recovery of the patient. This example is used frequently by people against euthanasia. It is extremely hard to decide without a doubt that a patient can not recover. If the doctor had acted on the request of the family, then it truly would be murder.

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There is also the case in which a terminally ill patient has not relayed his wishes and is incapable of doing so in his condition. It is impossible to make the judgment on what the patient really wants at this point. Is it justified for the family to make the decision to let their loved one live? It is too easy to let other motives influence that type of decision. The family very well could decide on the life of their loved one based on the burden of doctor bills or even the need for the inheritance instead of the well being of their beloved. It is also shown that 80% of relatives preferred to have their terminally ill loved ones die in the hospital, while 80% of dying persons…said they would prefer to die at home (Barnard 21). The patient wants to spend his last times happily at his home while the family wants the best care at the hospital readily available.

In many cases, some believe when the patient decides for himself to be euthanized that he/she doesn’t really want to die. Patients who are seriously ill can become extremely depressed and say they want to die. Psychologists believe that the patients are no different from normal suicidal people but with the addition of their medical problems. Psychologists also have found that when patients talk suicide that they really only want the attention and support of their family (Peck 190). Who is to say that a terminally ill patient is really wanting to be released from his body or that his family has the best intentions at heart when they tell the doctor to pull the plug?
According to the Hippocratic Oath, doctors are obligated to preserve life and relieve suffering. Many doctors, however, see a contradiction in these responsibilities. If a person is suffering terribly and has no hope of recovering, should his death still be postponed as long as possible? In many cases, it is impossible to relieve suffering while preserving life. With our medical advances, we can delay death even long after the brain stops functioning. Is it right to use our technology to keep a person alive as long as possible even if he can’t tolerate the anguish? (Trubo 57). Christiaan Barnard tells us that, The Brain is the organ that determines the quality of life, and the individual dies when his brain dies (7). He also states that, We are, in fact, all dying. Some rapidly, some more slowly-nonetheless, we are headed for death (15).

In the many cases in which euthanasia is argued, the patient would have died long before without medical treatment in the first place. Because of the doctors’ intervention, there is only a person in pain being kept alive by machines. In all of our great medical advances, we have forgotten that people still have to die. It was in our good intentions to postpone their deaths to the last, but we have only put them and their families in pain. We must draw the line and decide that when a patient will not recover, he is in great pain, and he or his families wish it, then the patient must be set free. Euthanasia may seem like a terrible thing, but it goes along with the advances that man has achieved and it must be accepted.

Bibliography
Works Cited Page
Barnard, Christiaan. Good Life Good Death. New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 1980.

Koop, C. Everett. The Right to Die: The Moral Dilemmas. Tyndale HP, 1976. 88-117. Rpt. in Euthanasia: The moral issues. Ed. R. M. Baird. New York: Prometheus Books, 1989. 69-83.

Peck, M. Scott. Denial of the Soul. New York: Harmony Books, 1997.
Trubo, Richard. An Act of Mercy: Euthanasia Today. Los Angeles: Nash, 1973.


Legal Issues

Euthanasia

Euthanasia Euthanasia (also known as mercy killing) is the act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from painful or incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder. The question about weather this is morally right or wrong has posed a major ethical dilemma on the world today. The advance of medical technology is bringing a steadily growing majority of deaths into hospitals where life, of a sort, may be prolonged for a long time. Someone has to decide what nature used to decide for us. That decision is no longer taken privately in a small family group but amidst a constantly changing crowd of doctors, nurses, patients and technicians.

Because there is no specific provision for Euthanasia in most systems, it is considered suicide, if done by the patient, or murder, if done by the doctor. A physician may lawfully decide not to prolong the life of some one who is in extreme pain and suffering. They may administer drugs to relieve pain, even though the doctor knows this may shorted the life of the patient. In several European countries, there were there were special provisions in their criminal codes for lenient sentencing and consideration of extenuating circumstances in prosecutions for euthanasia. Dr.

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Jack Kevorkian, a doctor who openly supports euthanasia has been in and out of court and jail for being held responsible for the deaths of over 50 people that were in his care at the time of death. His suicide machine has helped many end their lives. Although no one thinks that Kevorkian was thought of as a murderer by the patients, it raises many ethical questions about whether it should be decided by doctor or patient when it is time to die. The opinion that euthanasia is morally permissible dates back to Socrates, Plato and the Stoics. It is rejected in traditional Christian beliefs, mainly because it is thought to come within the prohibition of murder in the Sixth Commandment.

The organized movement to for legislation commenced in England in 1935 when C. Killick Millard founded the Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation Society. The societys bill was defeated in the House Of Lords in 1950. In the United States, the Euthanasia Society was founded in 1938. The medical professionals, family members and the patients face the decision of when a terminally ill person should die.

The Supreme Court has ruled that any person deemed competent may refuse medical treatment or nutrition. Ten thousand people in the US alone are in a permanent vegetative state and therefore can not express their own interests and opinions in the matter of their own life. In cases such as this, the decision is left to the family. When this happens, other factors are brought into the decision, such as how much stress the family is under, and most of all, the cost to keep a person on life support that could stay on for an extended amount of time. The cost for this is very high, often too much for the family. These and many other decisions can waiver the families decision and over ride the interest of the patient involved.

(Hubert,89) The potential of modern medical practice to prolong life through technological means has provoked the question of what must be done by the physician and the family in cases of extreme physical or emotional suffering, especially if the patient is incapable of choice. Passively doing nothing to prolong life or withdrawing life support measures has resulted in criminal charges being brought against physicians; on the other hand, the families of comatose and apparently terminal patients have set up legal action against the medical establishment to make them stop using extraordinary life support. Euthanasia in the news I recently found an article from a newspaper posted on the Internet about a woman trying to remove a tube from her husbands mouth. Virginia News Summary Friday, September 25, 1998 Judge To Hear Coma Case (MANASSAS) — A state judge will hear arguments this afternoon on a woman’s effort to remove a feeding tube keeping her comatose husband alive. Michelle Finn says her husband, Hugh.. a former T-V anchorman in Kentucky..

once told her he would never want to be kept alive in that condition. However, Hugh Finn’s family has challenged his wife’s decision to withdraw life support after more than three years. Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Claude Allen, who says the state has an interest in protecting the man from euthanasia, says two recent visits by a state nurse are raising questions about whether Hugh Finn is actually in an irreversible coma. (http://news.lycos.com/stories/local/virginia/1998 0925rtvirginia-news-summary.asp) There have been many recent stories about people being charged for murder while trying to assist loved ones in death to ease their pain. This has caused much argument as well as support. Works Cited Hubert, Cynthia.

Intentional death with dignity raises moral, ethical, legal issues. Sirs 1989 vol. 3 article 45 p 1a+.

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