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Jack Kevorkian, an unrepentant medical practitioner who openly engaged in euthanasia among terminally ill patients and a recent case in the United Kingdom in which Mr. Alan Reyes of East London publicly helped his partner end his life and was subsequently arrested for the subsequent death of his partner of twenty eight years. Dr. Kevorkian, was incarcerated for eight years for helping people to die, and is reported to have participated in at least 130 assisted suicides. To understand the complexities surrounding euthanasia today as the debate continues, the followin will address both sides of the coin and explore euthanasia from a holistic perspective. This essay begins now with a concise introduction to euthanasia and the ethical, social and legal aspects of euthanasia in America (CNN 1999; BBC 2009; StopPain 2009).
From an ethical and legal standpoint the euthanasia issue is heavily charged and polarizing. Anti-euthanasia advocates argue that doctor assisted suicide is murder and that it must be opposed on both ethical and legal grounds. Pro-euthanasia advocates believe that the right to life is an intrinsic right and no one can tell a person when he or she can end their life. The decision end one’s life is thus a personal decision and the state has no place telling a terminally ill person that he or she cannot make a conscious decision and choose to put an end to his or her life. From a purely legal standpoint, all forms of euthanasia remain illegal in all 48 of the 50 states of the United States (both Oregon and Washington presently allow a limited form of doctor-assisted suicide) and most of the Western world. In Europe, notable exceptions include Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Despite this, all forms of doctor assisted suicide remain illegal in much of the developed world including the United Kingdom, France,
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In many cases, these patients are bed ridden and their functioning as normal human beings is limited. In countries where assisted suicide is legalized, such as the Netherlands, assisted suicide, upon the request of the patient and times the general consensus of the family, is performed by a physician.
Indeed, death remains a very sensitive issue in different cultures and socio-cultural backgrounds around the world. Death may be considered a very sad phenomenon or a necessary evil for rest depending on circumstances under which the death occurs. It is this bi-dimensional feeling on death that makes doctor-assisted suicide highly controversial.
The author states that the most basic reason for suicide, that an individual is miserable and decides to end a life that has become unbearable for reasons that are based upon how they feel within their life, is a type of suicide that cannot be socially supported in Western cultures. According to the essay, men complete suicide more often than wome.
According to the paper a number of sources will provide an overview of arguments for and against assisted suicide by analysing evidence from the Netherlands and Oregon where it has been legalized and the argument against euthanasia is that human life is of absolute value. While the main focus of the sources is on the law, they also widely represent moral aspects of the problem.
This is evident from the fact that assisted suicide has been legalized only in the US states of Montana, Oregon, and Washington State, whereas about half the US states have passed the laws banning assisted suicide explicitly (“Why Assisted Suicide”). The growing concern about the burden upon the patients of terminal illness and their families imparts a need to take some serious action by the government.
Individual prefers that no patient contemplate suicide, but in the recent past there have been improvements to manage pain in patients, which has led to the reduction in the number of patients who seek assisted suicide.
Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) takes place when a physician, responding to specific request from patients, gives information (for example, a prescription for a fatal dose of sleeping pills), and/or the means (such as a supply of carbon monoxide gas) of
cted by physicians especially due to the fact that it is widely believed that God is the only giver and taker of life and therefore, no human being has the authority over another’s life. Terminal illnesses are those infections that have no known cure and which can cause a lot
It is termed assisted suicide, automatically assuming all of the implications that the word suicide provides. However, in examining this concept, one can begin to understand that it is not framed appropriately by this type of language, thus
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