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Euthanasia: A Controversial Issue Paper Dealing With Whether Or Not People Have The Right To Choose To Die. This Paper Is In Support Of Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide.

1257 words - 5 pages

Euthanasia has come to represent either an active or passive termination ofa person's life, in modern-day usage. (Outerbridge, 95) "It is estimatedthat more than five thousand people die each year in the Netherlandsthrough active euthanasia." (Outerbridge, 96) "The guidelines under which aphysician can perform euthanasia are narrowly drawn. First, the patientmust be competent. Second, the patient must request euthanasia persistentlyover time, thereby eliminating the possibility for someone who might besuffering intolerably, with no prospect or relief. Third, the proceduremust be performed by a physician after consultation and agreement withanother physician." (Outerbridge, 96) "Many people within and outside ofthe medical profession argue that this policy should be made legal in theUnited States." (Outerbridge, 96) Although many believe that euthanasia isunethical and immoral, terminally ill patients have the right to choose.The Hippocratic Oath is an oath in which a doctor promises not to givea lethal drug to a patient, or to suggest that a patient take any lethaldrug. In the past, state legislatures have advocated the medicalprofessions monopoly by not allowing unauthorized medical procedures and bygiving physicians control over powerful drugs. In return laws have requireddoctors to abide by the Hippocratic Oath which includes the ban on assistedsuicide and euthanasia. (Lund, 41)Although at the present time many people believe that terminally illpatients have the right to choose, many also believe that it is unethical.The active termination of a person's life is against the law and violatesmedical ethics. (Outerbridge, 95) "If the Federal courts strike down lawsagainst assisted suicide, they will unleash legions of Jack Kevorkians."(Lund, 42) To start, some doctors will manipulate ill patients to agree onassisted-suicide. "Intractable pain, especially among the terminally ill,is a genuine problem, but only because the American profession has beenscandalously negligent in dealing with it." (Lund, 42) One way to deal withthe problem is by encouraging doctors to take pain relief more seriously."Replacing the clear ban against doctors killing their patients withdetailed government regulations would inevitably increase intrusivenessinto the doctor-patient relationship." (Lund, 42)"The Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act would ban prescribing of lethalnarcotics for the purpose of physician assisted suicide." (Coburn, 126) Ifpassed, this law would override Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. In passingthis act, voters legally gave physicians the freedom to give certainpatients deadly doses of drugs with the clear intention to end thepatient's life. "Ordinarily, I am very reluctant to contradict theexpressed will of the majority of voters in any jurisdiction on anysubject. But sometimes the voters can be wrong." (Coburn, 127) It willbecome very dangerous in the state of Oregon if physician-assisted suicidebecomes legal. "The human person is rarely more...

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