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Euthanasia Essay – Concerns About Euthanasia

A medical examiner from Oakland County, Michigan and three researchers from the University of South Florida have studied key characteristics of 69 patients whose suicides were assisted by Jack Kevorkian between 1990 and 1998. Their findings are published in the December 7 New England Journal of Medicine.

Autopsies show that only 25 percent of Kevorkian’s clients were terminally ill when he helped them kill themselves. “Seventy-two percent of the patients had had a recent decline in health status that may have precipitated the desire to die.” However, “no anatomical disease was confirmed at autopsy” in 5 of the 69 people. In light of the generally lower rate of suicide among women, it was notable that 71% of these patients were women. Persons who were divorced or never married were over-represented among Kevorkian’s clients, “suggesting the need for a better understanding of the familial and psychosocial context of decision making at the end of life” [L. Roscoe, J. Malphurs, L. Dragovic, and D. Cohen, “Dr. Jack Kevorkian and Cases of Euthanasia in Oakland County, Michigan, 1990-1998,” Correspondence, 343 New England Journal of Medicine 1735-6 (Dec. 7, 2000)].

Numerous studies have established that the Americans most directly affected by the issue of physician-assisted suicide — those who are frail, elderly and suffering from terminal illness — are also more opposed to legalizing the practice than others are:

* A poll conducted for the Washington Post on March 22-26, 1996, found 50% support for legalizing physician-assisted suicide (Washington A18) Voters aged 35-44 supported legalization, 57% to 33%. But these figures reversed for voters aged 65 and older, who opposed legalization 54% to 38%. Majo…

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… suicide: attitudes and experiences of oncology patients, oncologists, and the public.” 347 The Lancet 1805 (June 29, 1996):1809

Humphry, Derek. “What’s in a word?” Euthanasia Research

Assisted Suicide

Richard M. Conner is a middle-aged man, working his nine to five job on a habitual routine. He slowly moves through the motions of his daily life, unhappy with every aspect. Richard struggles with chronic depression, he has attempted to take his life numerous times. After developing a discomfort in the pelvic area, Richard scheduled a doctor’s visit. It was during this visit that Richard discovered he had prostate cancer, which had already begun to metastasize. Richard began to deteriorate quickly. After being hospitalized, and unable to deal with the pain and inevitable death, Richard asks to die, and explores his options. Active, passive, non-voluntary, voluntary and indirect euthanasia are all forms of assisted suicide. When it comes to American ethics and values, taking a life is wrong. The act of assisted suicide, in the end, will take a life. Therefore, assisted suicide should be viewed as morally and ethically wrong. Assisted suicide, by definition, is someone “making the means of death available, but does not act as the direct agent of death.” (RPS 1) Providing one with a weapon or drug, while knowing their intentions, is an example. Euthanasia has a direct tie to assisted suicide, as it is the means of ending a life to relieve suffering and pain. (Dic. 1) As previously stated, there are a number of euthanasia types. Active euthanasia is where a person intentionally causes the death. Passive euthanasia is where medical professionals do not give the patient the required treatment to keep them alive, or stop one that is keeping them alive. Similar to passive euthanasia, indirect euthanasia is where a treatment to alleviate pain causes one to die sooner. Lastly is voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia i… … middle of paper … …e News Network, 14 June 2010. Web. 30 May 2014. . The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. Trenton: I. Collins, 1791. Print. OHA “Annual Reports.” Annual Reports. Oregon Health Authority, 28 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 May 2014. . “Oregon Revised Statute.” Oregon Revised Statute. N.p., 2013. Web. 01 June 2014. . RPS “Retired ANA Position Statement: Assisted Suicide.” Retired ANA Position Statement: Assisted Suicide. American Nurses Association, n.d. Web. 30 May 2014. .

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