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Legal Perspective on Euthanasia - Term Paper Example

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Name of Professor Legal Perspective on Euthanasia Introduction It is apparent that there are various opinions about euthanasia. Besides the cultural, social, moral, bioethical, and medical elements of such end-of-life subject matters, there are political and legal components to take into account as well…
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Legal Perspective on Euthanasia
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, even the issue of going through legal proceedings becomes contentious in several instances because some individuals think that the ‘right to die’ must be decided personally (Devettere 70). Even though individuals with these thoughts may seek advice from medical professionals or spiritual counselor, the concept of a legal resolution is detested because the act of placing the decision on another person meddles with a person’s rights to liberty and freewill. Numerous legal cases concerning euthanasia use the U.S. Constitution to support their judgments. They refer to privacy and liberty rights, protected by the Constitution, as the basis for a person’s right to decide how and when death should take place. Numerous individuals and groups supporting euthanasia claim that the reasonable step to take in the future is to constitutionally guarantee the ‘right to die’ (Keown 89). Even though legal decisions that support euthanasia somehow set precedents which advocates can eventually use in future cases, making euthanasia legal would offer stronger protection under the constitution. Critics of euthanasia, in contrast, assert that euthanasia must not be legalized. This essay critically analyzes the legal perspective on euthanasia. Euthanasia: An Overview When patients and their loved ones see misery and intolerable pain, disagreement usually occurs between patients and their families, who want to put an end to misery, and medical practitioners, who are instructed to save human lives. This disagreement focuses on the notion of euthanasia and its value in the contemporary period. The issue of euthanasia forces an individual to face the greatest fear of human beings—death. The legal system has confronted it and has made progress in establishing certain rules to help decision makers in this issue; unfortunately, there is still a long way to go. Society should be safeguarded from the undesirable possibilities related to allowing the taking out of life-support mechanisms. Society cannot permit the complicated matters related to this issue to be underestimated to the point where it is simply recognized that life can be subjectively or instinctively terminated. The law should make sure that the patient’s constitutional rights are protected, while preserving society’s concern for life, and strengthening the integrity of health care professionals. During a medical emergency, it is impractical to instruct a health care provider to first check the patient’s clinical record for prior instructions before addressing the patient’s urgent needs (Pozgar 124). Ultimately, the limits of patient’s rights are still quite vague. Over time, euthanasia has become a subject matter with opposing moral, medical, and legal repercussions. Today, there are passionate campaigns supporting dignified death, which prohibits tubes, monitors, machines, and other technical equipment (Biggs 15). Even the definition of ‘euthanasia’ has evolved over time. Euthanasia is generally defined as “the mercy killing of the hopelessly ill, injured, or incapacitated” (Pozgar 124). In the 1870s, literature on euthanasia started to surface, mostly in the United States and England. Even though this literature was written, primarily, by ordinary people, medical professionals and the public started to pay attention to the issues posed by euthanasia (Biggs 25). During that time, euthanasia is viewed as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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