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Euthansia Addressing The Pros And Cons Of The Issue Of Ethunasia In The United States. Should The Practice Be Out Lawed?

1385 words - 6 pages

Steward Alsop once said, "A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless to resist." (Bolander, 1987) Most people in North America die what may be called a bad death. One study found that "more often than not, patients died in pain, their desires concerning treatment neglected, after spending 10 days or more in an intensive care unit" (Horgan, 1996). In these cases the patients, or their doctors, tried to resist death with the aid of modern medicine. One might wonder if there is anything that can be done to help change this grim situation. One possibility is euthanasia. By legalizing the practice casually referred to as "physician-assisted suicide" those who wish to end their lives rather then continue to live in their current condition, will be able to do so.The word euthanasia was derived from the Greek words eu means "good" and thanatos means "death". Webster's dictionary defines the word as 'the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies." That is, the term euthanasia normally implies that the person who wishes to commit suicide must initiate the act. It must be noted that there two main types of euthanasia, passive and active.Passive Euthanasia is the hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. For example, removing life support equipment, stopping medical procedures and medications, or not delivering CPR and allowing a person, whose heart has stopped, to die? Perhaps the most common form of passive euthanasia is to give patients large doses of morphine to control pain, in spite of the likelihood that the painkiller will suppress respiration and cause death earlier than it would otherwise have happened. Such doses of painkillers have a dual effect of relieving pain and hastening death. Administering such medication is regarded as ethical in most political jurisdictions and by most medical societies.Active euthanasia involves causing the death of a person through a direct action, in response to a request from that person. A well-known example is the mercy killing in 1998 of a patient with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician. His patient was frightened that the advancing disease would cause him to die a horrible death in the near future; he wanted a quick, painless exit from life. Dr. Kevorkian injected controlled substances into the patient, thus causing his death. Charged with 1st degree murder, the jury found him guilty of 2nd degree murder in 1999-MAR. ( Nett, 2001)People have many different reasons for wanting to end their lives. Some people have a terminal illness and do not want to diminish their assets by incurring large medical costs as their death approaches. They would rather die sooner, and pass on their assets to their beneficiaries. Others may have a serious disorder or disease that has adversely affected their quality of...

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