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Professionals and the Euthanasia Issue - Essay Example

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The present essay entitled "Professionals and the Euthanasia Issue" dwells on the contradictory question of euthanasia. As the text has it, in April 2005, the Washington Times reminded its readers of March 1976 the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman who had been in a coma for a lot of years.  …
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Professionals and the Euthanasia Issue
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Download file to see previous pages The case of Karen Ann Quinlan was the first case in American history establishing a right to die, which has since that time given rise to the much-debated question of euthanasia; do persons with terminal illnesses have a right to choose how and when they die?
There is no easy answer to this question since both sides raise valid and emotional points for and against euthanasia. Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum (1989) examined the moral implications of euthanasia. One of the first points that the writers pose is that of physicians taking on the responsibility to end life, rather than preserve it (p 25). Additionally, the writers identify the problems associated with physicians – or anyone else for that matter – being responsible for deciding when a human being, suffering a terminal illness, should die. Not least amongst which is the issue of monitoring such decisions, and whether or not it is, in fact, possible to monitor such actions (p. 27). What, Baird and Rosenbaum ask, happens when physicians or family members take into account issues such as the cost of maintaining a loved one’s life come into play in making a decision as to whether or not to intervene in the process of dying (p. 27). The fact is, the authors conclude, that really is no way to take out the considerations that come to play in such a decision-making process, and it is this inability to monitor the process and ensure that it is one based solely on the needs and the desire of the person who is suffering the terminal illness (p 28). The authors go on to call upon the medical profession to remove themselves from the decision-making the process that would involve euthanasia, and more importantly from the act of administering lethal doses of drugs that would bring about a patient’s death (p. 28). Doctors, the authors maintain, must kill their patients (p. 28).
The authors go on to discuss “the sanctity of life, versus quality of life, suggesting that it is the sanctity of life that takes precedent, and it is about ethics they suggest (p. 85). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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