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Artificial Life Or Death Essay

1320 words - 5 pages

Artificial Life or DeathEuthanasia has been a hotly debated about topic for the past couple of decades, but has recently been thrust into the limelight by many controversial court and hospital decisions.Euthanasia is defined as the 'mercy killing' of a person who is brain dead, terminally ill or otherwise at death's door. This usually, but not necessarily, affects people who are are separated from death only by machines. Whether you personally believe 'mercy killing' is a viable solution in a hopeless situation or not the proponents for both sides provide arguments that can be quite convincing. Supporters of euthanasia say that it is such an improbability for a miraculous recovery and a return to a normal life that it is not worth putting the patient through all the suffering and agony that prolonging their life would cause or the fortune of hospital bills that you would pay. The opposition feels that it is not right for people to abandon other members of the human race because there is always a chance, even though it is a small one, that they will regain all functons and return to a normal life.There are many cases in which euthanasia is acceptable. Braindeath is one situation which merits euthanasia. It is also one of the morecommon cases where euthanasia is requested. Brain death is when all brainactivities cease.The lines are fairly well drawn in the law about patients who are suffering but are still compotent, but when the law is asked to determine the fate of a lingering, comatose, incompotent patient the lines begin to blur. In many cases the courts turned to the patient's family, but what if there are not any or they disagree? In such cases who decides? In a controversial decision a Massachusetts court allowed that it would invoke its own 'substitute judgement' on behalf of a mentally ill woman. In a second case mentioned in the January 7 issue of Newsweek, a Minnesota Surpreme court turned to three hospital ethics committees to review a dying loner's case, followed their collected wisdom and ordered him off the respirator so that he could have a dignified death. 'It is the first time ethics committees played a significant role in the court' says Dr. Ronald E. Cranford. Still the easiest way to know and respect the patient's wishes is through a simple piece of paper called a living will. (18)It was stated, in the Bible, by the same preacher in Ecclesiastes who said there is a time to be born and a time to die also said there is 'A time to search and a time to give up' (Ecclesiastes 3:6)We need the honesty to admit death and the courage to discontinue life extending measures, because of the extreme amount of funds that go into supporting a brain dead, comatose, or terminally ill patient for any amount of time. Although brain dead and comatose patients do not feel pain terminally ill patients do, so is it not better to stop the pain that prolonging life would cause?It also seems to me that the brain dead patient lying in the hospital bed...

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