Ethics Class- Euthanasia - Essay Example

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Euthanasia is a controversial subject and the issue is a cause of disagreement between those who believe in individual rights along with a certain quality of a life lived, and those who are pro life and believe in the sustenance of life at all costs. There are many philosophical…
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Ethics Class- Euthanasia
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Download file to see previous pages The article also takes a stand in favor of passive euthanasia, under certain guidelines and conditions only.
Definition of euthanasia and key terms attached to it: Euthanasia is derived from a Greek word that means ‘good death’ (eu- good and thanatos- death). It is actually a practice adopted to terminate the life of terminally ill patients so as to end their suffering, which is intractable and unbearable. As Cundiff frames it, “the decision to allow a terminally ill person to die usually comes after multiple treatments have failed to cure or control a patient’s disease and the prognosis is poor. Patients themselves, and family members, begin to appreciate that further heroic treatment would only prolong suffering and dying and not give a realistic chance at remission or recovery (Cundiff, p.3)1. The American Medical Associations Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs defines the term as follows "Euthanasia is commonly defined as the act of bringing about the death of a hopelessly ill and suffering person in a relatively quick and painless way for reasons of mercy. In this report, the term euthanasia will signify the medical administration of a lethal agent to a patient for the purpose of relieving the patients intolerable and incurable suffering” (cited in Le Baron, Definitions)2. There are two main forms of euthanasia in practice, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is performed with the consent of the sufferer. It may be in the form of a written directive or it may also be given as advance directions, to be performed later. Involuntary euthanasia is performed without the consent of the patient and is done with the permission of the closest relative of the sufferer. The other forms of euthanasia are active euthanasia and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide. Active euthanasia involves mercy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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