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Research paper : pros and cons of assisted suicide - Essay Example

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PROS AND CONS OF ASSISTED SUICIDE Prepared for Lenore Brown Prepared by Jennifer Navas September 2, 2011 Pros and Cons of Assisted Suicide Introduction Assisted suicide has long been a topic of moral debate. In modern discussion, the term most often refers to cases in which a patient freely chooses to be killed by a physician in order to escape needless suffering in the last days of life…
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Research paper : pros and cons of assisted suicide
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Download file to see previous pages Pros and cons of assisted suicide are presented here. Pros One supportive argument in favor of AS is the claim that legalization would ensure that AS is used compassionately and appropriately. Proponents claim that when AS is used appropriately, patients can be closely monitored throughout the dying process. This would give patients the opportunity to spend their last moments in a safe environment that promotes dignity. Patients would be able to receive emotional support from family members and die in the presence of those who care for them. Proponents also argue that if AS is practiced openly under established guidelines, patients would receive higher standards of care and an improved quality of dying experience. In support, Faber, Langendoen, and Karlawish (482-487) assert that safe and appropriate use of assisted dying should be part of the standard of care for dying patients when other measures like symptom management and pain control have failed. The most powerful and perhaps compelling argument in favor of AS is that legalization will legitimize a practice that is a frequent occurrence. Right-to-die proponents claim that secret and covert acts of assisted suicide already occur in many areas of the health care profession (Bascom and Tolle 91-98). Another argument in support of AS is the belief by proponents that it is the duty and responsibility of society to prevent suffering. Right-to-die proponents maintain that society values for the well-being of individuals and compassion for the suffering of others require that we end suffering when we are able to so. In support, Wellman (19-39) assert that there should be a legal right to AS in order to enable terminally ill patients to avoid unnecessary suffering. The relief of suffering is the basis for a well used "human dignity" argument in which it is contended that terminally ill patients have the right to die with dignity. Taking this position, proponents argue that AS is routinely used to put dying animals out of their misery out of compassion for their suffering. Human beings are owed the same compassion and should not be compelled to suffer until the bitter end. Cons One of the strongest argument against AS is the "slippery slope" argument. This argument holds that if assisted dying is legalized in terminally ill patients as a form of health care, it will inevitably broaden to include non-consenting and non-terminally ill patients (Snyder and Sulmasy 209-216). This future direction is perhaps certain considering the apparent willingness of many physicians to engage in not only AS but involuntary euthanasia. Snyder and Sulmasy (209-216), also argues that once the practice becomes legally permitted, there will be nothing to stop the arbitrary use of AS to justify the killing of anyone whose life is discounted by society as being burdensome or worthless. Fearing widespread abuse, opponents claim that AS will lead to disproportionate utilization among vulnerable populations including the poor, minorities, and the elderly. For these individuals, AS will be seen not only as a right but a civic obligation. Furthermore, opponents argue that AS would reduce the need to introduce better ways to care for the dying. In particular, there would be no need to do research to discover techniques to bring better comfort to the dying or train health care professionals to provide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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