Sue Rodriguez has reminded us all of our own mortality and our need to think carefully about the kind of society we want to live and to die in. Sue Rodriguez was known through the media, and her well spoken and eloquent speeches. People painfully in support of what she believed in, watched as her strength was sapped by the devastating disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and we were moved by her clear thought and her bravery as a person facing death. Here was a woman who acted on her beliefs with courage and tenacity and whose grace has enriched us all. It is no defense to point to the fact that a person has requested to be killed: “No person is entitled to consent to have death inflicted upon him, and such consent does not affect the criminal responsibilities of any person by whom death may be inflicted upon the person by whom consent is given,” which seems to mean that no one has a right to consent to have death inflicted on him or her. In addition, if a person causes the death of another, the consent of the deceased does not provide the person who caused the death a defense to criminal responsibility. Is there a difference, do you think, between a person who, at a dying person’s request, prepares a poison and leaves it on the bedside for that person to take, and a person who helps the patient to drink it or who administers it directly at the request of a dying person who is unable to take it personally? Is there, in short, a real distinction between killing and letting die? Well, this is the difference between passive and active euthanasia, and if you believe in euthanasia, you must decide which one is correct or even accept both to be correct depending upon the situation. We must carefully think through a number of conceptual issues. What is a person? What is death? How does the difference between active and passive function in arguments for and against euthanasia? Is there any difference between killing and letting die? Suppose the doctor agrees to withhold treatment… The justification for his doing so is that the patient is in terrible agony, and since he is going to die anyway, it would be wrong to prolong his suffering needlessly. But now notice this. If one simply withholds treatment, it may take the patient longer to die, and so he may suffer more than he would if more direct action were taken and a lethal injection given. This fact provides strong reason for thinking that, once the initial decision not to prolong his agony has been made, active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia, rather than the reverse. Individuals have the right to decide about their own lives and deaths. Denying terminally ill patients the right to die with dignity is unfair and cruel. The golden rule requires that we allow active euthanasia for terminally ill patients who request it in certain situations. People have the right to die with dignity and lucidity. Gayle Stelter (Vancouver Sun) writes, “For almost seven years I have been living with cancer, mostly joyously and gratefully, but gradually seeing the disease encroaching relentlessly on my once healthy body. Throughout these years, I have thought long and hard about death and I’ve discovered that it’s not the prospect of death itself that is so frightening, but the process of dying. So to give myself courage, I have held an option in reserve. When I can see no quality ahead, when I am capable of bidding my loved ones a coherent farewell, when I am still in control of my resources, I will enlist someone’s help to speed me on my journey. … For those of us who may choose to leave while there is still an element of control, of coherence, may we be fortunate to have a friend, a loved one, a health professional who will use their gifts in order that we may be excused. To deny such expert guidance in this last rite would be both heartless and inhuman.” Another person I had read about states: “I have multiple myeloma…a rare bone marrow cancer…that destroys the blood, bones, immune system, kidneys and sometimes liver and spleen. The worst of it is the disintegration of the skeleton…Unless one is lucky enough to die of sepsis first, the death is long and agonizing. The act of sitting up can fracture the vertebrae and lifting the dinner tray can fracture both forearms. Who deserves that? For what principle?” I believe that there are some circumstances when euthanasia is the morally correct action. I also understand that there are real concerns about legalizing euthanasia because of fear of misuse and/or overuse and the fear of the slippery slope leading to a loss of respect for the value of life. We do need to proceed with caution. Euthanasia is homicide. Some homicides are justified. Life at some point can become so unpleasant and so hopeless that virtually no one would wish to continue it, and the opponent of euthanasia must face up to this fact honestly. Suffering can take many forms, physical, mental and emotional. Not all of these are relevant to euthanasia – I have not heard anyone suggest, for example, mercy killing for the clinically depressed – but many are, in particular physical agony and the emotional despair of extreme disability. People have always killed themselves, for reasons that seemed good to them, and it has long been recognized that laws against suicide serve little or no purpose. This issue remains a live one with respect to euthanasia because it is plausibly pointed out that, if you have a legal right to commit suicide, and you are physically unable to do so unaided, it seems unfair to prosecute someone who helps you. Suffering and suicides are perennial factors, but today’s conditions have added a host of other complications. In particular, we have medical techniques that can preserve life far beyond what would have been possible in the past.Order now
Euthanasia 2 Essay
Disadvantages Of Euthanasia Essay 312 Words | 2 Pages
In relation to the topic of euthanasia, I believe that the main moral issue lies within 2 separate questions. Does someone have the right to choose when to die? Does this person have the right to seek assistance in committing suicide from a practicing medical professional? Proponents of euthanasia usually take a stance where death is inevitable, so imminent, and the pain that will precede death so unbearable, that the only morally appropriate response is to end the life of the person by active means. Opponents contend that euthanasia is nothing more than suicide and murder. An analogy that I...
Euthanasia - Immoral Or Human Right? Essay 554 Words | 2 Pages
Recent debates over active euthanasia, "killing" aterminally ill patient, in Holland, has risen the questionwhether euthanasia is immoral or a simple human right. Doctorsseem to have no doubt. They made an oath.The definition of Euthanasia depends on whether it is activeor passive. Active Euthanasia i only allowed in Holland, and itmeans that the doctor takes direct measures to put a patient tosleep, whereas passive Euthanasia only involves stopping pillconsumption, or stopping treatment. In England, only passiveEuthanasia is allowed.Euthanasia touches some of the deepest feelings in humanbeings. It is the power over life and death, and responsibilitiesno one wishes to take,...
Euthanasia Should Be Abolished Essay 423 Words | 2 Pages
Euthanasia is the painless, intentional death of a person who is suffering. Euthanasia is wrong because it alters our natural way of survival, and upsets religous beliefs. By using euthanasia, ?miraculous? recoveries have been prevented. People think that the easy way out of their problems is by conducting euthanasia.It is not a natural thing to commit suicide, and suffering is no excuse for death.Suffering is a part of nature, and we should not try to fix and polish it by means of death. By reason alone, euthanasia sets us against our nature.Anyone who believes in God, and takes his own...
Euthanasia outline Essay 302 Words | 1 Pages
B.intentional termination of life by another by explicit request of person who dies C.euthanasia has many meanings due to moral/ethincal/religious terms-mass confusionA.passive euthanasia- speeding up death of person by withdrawing some form of life support & letting nature take its course 2.stopping medical procedures, medications, etc.5.most common- giving morphine to patient to control pain but causing a sooner death (given to people who are terminally ill or in a vegetative state)B.active euthanasia- causing death through direct action with response to a request from that person, mercy killingC.physician assisted suicide- physician supplies info and/or means of committing suicide- example: lethal dose...
Euthanasia Essay Thesis 717 Words | 3 Pages
EuthanasiaKathleen M. Foley, author of Competent Care for the Dying Instead of Physician-Assisted Suicide, believes doctors should develop treatments for the physical and psychological problems of dying patients rather than helping them commit suicide. Available data suggests most physicians do not receive training in the care of dying patients. Dying patients experience physical symptoms such as pain, psychological problems such as anxiety and depression and existential distress (described as the experience of life without meaning.)(1) many of the physical and psychological problems can be treated. Furthermore, legalization of physician-assisted suicide may deter physicians from developing treatments that could enhance the...
Active Euthanasia Should Be Legalized Essay 312 Words | 2 Pages
Active Euthanasia Should Be LegalizedWhen the topic of euthanasia is discussed many people emphasis on the pain that the patient may be in, but what a patient thinks about their quality of life is often more important.Many people do not want to spend the last days or weeks of their life in a way that to them may seem undignified. In a hospital with tubes all over their body and on a machine that is, helping them breath is undignified to many. A man by the name of Dr. Harold once said, Having power to take control over their life...
Euthanasia and Suicide Essay 715 Words | 3 Pages
EUTHANASIABy Brent M. Pergram, Masters of Arts in SociologyThe specific sociological problem that is the topic of this research paper is euthanasia. The purpose of this research is to identify the variables associated with euthanasia. It also discusses the variables associated with various types of euthanasia and suicide. I believe that elderly suicide is an example of active euthanasia, and therefore it is important to discuss the issue to have a better understanding of the social problem of euthanasia and suicide.I will also discuss variables that influence whether a person supports euthanasia or not, such as religious belief, gender, age,...
Regulation And Reform Of Euthanasia Essay 755 Words | 3 Pages
Regulation and Reform of Euthanasia Throughout the twentieth century, major scientific and medical advances have greatly enhanced the life expectancy of the average person. However, there are many instances where doctors can preserve life artificially. In these cases, where the patient suffers from a terminal disease or remains in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), the question becomes whether to prolong their life even though it may consist of pain and suffering. One of the landmark cases that involve euthanasia is that of Karen Ann Quinlan. Quinlan, a twenty-one year old New Jersey resident, overdosed on pills and alcohol in 1975....
Against Euthanasia Essay 1251 Words | 5 Pages
OutlineThe 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 doctor's assistance.I.The different types of euthanasiaA.Passive euthanasia: acceleration of death by the removal of life supportB.Active euthanasia: a doctor directly assists in the death of a personC.Physician Assisted Suicide: physician supplies the resources for committing suicideII.An example of euthanasiaA....
Utilitarianism And Euthanasia Essay 633 Words | 3 Pages
Today there are five to ten thousand comatose patients in long term care facilities (Wheeler A1). There are countless elderly people in care facilities that have repeatedly expressed a desire to die. There are countless terminally ill patients that have also begged for death. Should these people be allowed to die, or should they be forced to keep on living? This question has plagued ethicists and physicians throughout the years.In the Netherlands, courts have begun to permit the administration of lethal injections to terminally ill patients (Jacoby 101). To many people, this is a barbaric practice. To others, it is...
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