Euthanasia Where The Line Is Drawn. Classical Argument

2286 words - 9 pages

Martin 1Billy MartinProfessor MuradEnglish 2000April 14, 2014Euthanasia; Where the Line Is DrawnThe long-term debate about issues surrounding passive euthanasia or non-voluntary euthanasia dates back to the 5th century B.C. Passive euthanasia is defined as the ending of life in patients, who cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known, by the deliberate withholding of drugs or other life-sustaining treatment ( Cases in which passive euthanasia is exercised are as follows: coma patients, patients that are too young, the senile, mentally retarded or people who are severely brain damaged. Issues that arise in the ongoing debate can range from the legality of the practice to moral and ethical religious values that our country and the patient follow.Take into consideration the definition of murder; the premeditated killing of one human being by another. From this single idea many different controversial issues spawn. Without the patient able to make a decision regarding his or her life essentially one other person is given the right to make the final decision. With that being stated, even more controversial issues arise.In order for non-voluntary euthanasia to be performed, one of three tests must be passed; they are called the subjective test, limited objective test, and pure objective test (Hirsch). The subjective test is when the decision-maker determines what the patient would have done if they were coherent. Evidence sufficient enough to pass this test is a previous oral directive given by the patient to family or friends, religious beliefs, a power of attorney or patterns of conduct with previous medical care decisions. Any of which that can be provided are sufficient evidence to withhold or withdraw treatment from the patient. The second test, limited objective, is when the guardian or surrogate decision-maker refuses treatment when there is evidence to show that the patient would have refused and the burdens of continued life with treatment out weighs the benefits of that life (Hirsch). There must be medical proof that the burdens are greater, for example the pain and suffering that the patient may be enduring. The evidence needed to pass the first part is the same as that of the subjective test except that the standards are lower than that of the subjective test. Finally the third test, called the pure objective test is passable if there is no evidence of what the patient would have wanted, the burdens of continued life outweigh the benefits and continued treatment would only prolong suffering and agony making it inhumane (Hirsch). Even though there are requirements that have to be met before non-voluntary euthanasia can be acted upon it is still the premeditated taking of ones life or murder regardless of the intentions. It can't be known what the patient would have wanted at that moment and what they would have thought was best.Another problem that could arise is the intentional ending of lives to benefit...

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