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Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Essay

869 words - 4 pages

Current law perpetuates inconsistency between cases where a patient requests passive assistance by withdrawing or refusing treatment and those where active assistance is requested. This inconsistency sees competent patients refused assistance yet allows claimants whose competence is questionable to refuse treatment altogether. The courts have advocated for such a difference on the basis of the distinction between act and omission. To do so is to fail to recognise that both active and passive euthanasia are equivalent and as such should both be allowed where a competent patient requests it. This is the position adopted in the Netherlands which recognises that advances in medical technology ...view middle of the document...

The position in the Netherlands is to respect the patient’s autonomy in terms of withdrawing life sustaining treatment but also in terms of demanding certain treatment. Glover argues that the principle of autonomy should have paramountcy in such cases as
[T]o refuse to provide help [to commit suicide] is a very serious denial of the person’s autonomy over the matter of his own life and death, and is only to be justified by powerful arguments appealing either to the future quality of his life or to side-effects.
This essay contends that both arguments advanced, the sanctity of life and the slippery slope are not powerful enough to justify an interference with a person’s autonomy.

It is concluded, that autonomy and personal choice should be the back bone upon which end of life decisions making is based. In advocating for this approach, is to allow assisted euthanasia in cases of competent individuals, removing the blurred lines created by the law distinguish acts and omissions. The reasoning for this is that autonomy and autonomous choice’...have become the central and dominant biomedical ethics principles of the modern era and are routinely protect by law. The law in this area currently only protects autonomy to a certain point. In doing so has created illogical inconsistencies which allows incompetent patients treatment to be withdrawn and patients whose competence is suspect to have their right to autonomy in refusing treatment upheld but fails to give due recognition to the autonomy of competent patients requesting assistance in dying as their disability means they cannot do it for themselves. Opponents of euthanasia base their argument on archaic principles of sanctity of life which have little...

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