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A Reasonable Approach to Euthanasia

A Reasonable Approach to Euthanasia

One of the biggest controversies of this decade is euthanasia. Euthanasia is “inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful?(Henrickson and Martin 24). There are four types of euthanasia voluntary and direct, voluntary but indirect, direct but involuntary, and indirect and involuntary. Voluntary and direct euthanasia is “chosen and carried out by the patient.? Voluntary but indirect euthanasia is chosen in advance. Direct but involuntary euthanasia is done for the patient without his or her request. Indirect and involuntary euthanasia occurs when a hospital decides that it is time to remove life support (Fletcher 42-3).

Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies. As time passed, religion increased, and life was viewed to be sacred. Euthanasia in any form was seen as wrong (Encarta 98).

In this century there have been many groups formed that are for and against euthanasia. In 1935 the first group that was for the legalization of euthanasia was formed. It was called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and was started by a group of doctors in London (The Voluntary Euthanasia Society). The first society established in the United States came shortly after in 1938. It was called the Hemlock Society and it now consists of more than 67,000 members. The purpose of this society is to support your decision to die and to offer support when you are ready to die (Humphrey 186). This society also believes that a person must have believed in euthanasia for a certain amount of time be…

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…. Jack Kevorkian.” Online. Internet. 25 Oct. 1996. Final

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Harris, Curtis. “Withholding Food and Fluids: What Happens.” Life Cycle. April 1991: 4.

Henrickson, John and Thomas Martin. “Euthanasia Should Not Be Permitted.” Problems of Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 23-26.

Horkan, Thomas. “Legislation That Complicates Dying.” Eds. Gary McCuen and Therese Boucher. Hudson: Gary McCuen Publications, 1985. 69-72.

Humphry, Derek. Dying With Dignity. New York: Birch Lane, 1992.

Pahl, Stewart. “I Favor Merciful Termination of Life.” Problems of Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 18-22.

Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Online. Internet. 14 Jan. 1999.

Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia

Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia

As we all know, medical treatment can help save lives. But is there a medical treatment that would actually help end life? Although it’s often debated upon, the procedure is still used to help the aid of a patient’s death. Usually dubbed as mercy killing, euthanasia is the “practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering” (Encarta). My argument over this topic is that euthanasia should have strict criteria over the use of it. There are different cases of euthanasia that should be looked at and different point of views that should be considered. I will be looking into VE (Voluntary Euthanasia), which involves a request by the dying patient or that person’s legal representative. These different procedures are as follows: passive or negative euthanasia, which involves not doing something to prevent death or allowing someone to die and active or positive euthanasia which involves taking deliberate action to cause a death. I have reasons to believe that passive or negative euthanasia can be a humane way of end suffering, while active or positive euthanasia is not.

According Richard Gula, active euthanasia is legally considered homicide (5). Another intervention and approach to euthanasia could be through the use of analgesic means. The use of morphine or other anesthetic medication could be used to allow the patient to die or hasten their dying process. I consider the latter procedure to be more humane than that of the other because it is morally wrong to kill a person, rather it’s humane for someone to die naturally. Before I discuss the rights and wrongs of euthanasia, I will define death or a person, when is it safe to say…

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Robert Matz; Daniel P. Sudmasy; Edward D. Pallegrino. “Euthanasia: Morals and Ethics.” Archives of Internal Medicine 1999: p1815 Aug. 9, 1999 .

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