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Legalizing Euthanasia - Article Example

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Euthanasia has been defined as the act of deliberately killing patients with an aim of reducing their suffering and pain. This paper looks at the various supporting arguments for euthanasia and the counteracting arguments to oppose the practice…
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Legalizing Euthanasia
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Download file to see previous pages From the discussion euthanasia has been regarded as that which promotes dignified deaths for patients and that protects patients from unnecessary suffering and pain. The practice has been found to be one that though inexpensive, it gives so much power to healthcare givers, fails to respect the sacredness of life, and patients’ right to live, reduces the effectiveness of palliative care, increases the number of involuntary and non voluntary euthanasia and demoralises healthcare givers from providing quality end of life care to terminally ill patients. The arguments against this practice are definitely more and stronger than those in support of the practice. This paper has strongly put the stand that euthanasia should not be legalized and that palliative care is the most efficient and ethically appropriate way of reducing suffering and pain in terminally sick patients. Legalizing Euthanasia Introduction Euthanasia, also called mercy killing, is defined as the act of intentionally taking away the life of another human being with an aim of reducing the pain and suffering of that person (Larson, 2004). The practice of euthanasia is one that has escalated a lot of debates not just in America, but in other parts of the world as well with different groups and persons arguing for and against the practice. As the debates increases, some of the regions and states such as Oregon have gone ahead to legalize the practice of euthanasia with some others strongly opposing its legalization. This paper provides my views on the legalization of euthanasia, an act which I strongly oppose. Argument The word euthanasia is a Greek word for the phrase ‘good death’. With this, the practice has always been viewed by some as that which ends the suffering and pain of a patient and that which brings him relief as a result (Larson, 2004).However, this is not necessarily the case. The practice has been attributed to a number of benefits. I believe these benefits, however, cannot in any way be used to justify its legalization putting into consideration that some of them are still questionable. One of the key reasons that supporters of euthanasia give for supporting the act is that the practice allows the patient to die a dignified death. According to these supporters, giving a dignified death to the patient is better than leaving them to suffer in pain for an unknown period of time. This argument is, however, not sufficient to support the legalization of euthanasia. Palliative care serves the role of ensuring that patients are able to comfortably and peacefully live during the last days of their lives. In this case, palliative care can be said to be an effective way through which pain and suffering can be reduced to the lowest possible levels. The provision of good end of life care according to Foley & Hendin, (2002) is a better choice over euthanasia. Almost every form of pain can be decreased through medication and other forms of care, hence, mercy killing should not an only means to reducing pain in patients. This view is further supported by the American Medical Association (AMA) which strongly stands in opposition to mercy killing. According to this body, it is evident that there is need for all patients to receive quality end of life care but not to have them undergo euthanasia. According to the AMA, nurses and other healthcare givers play the significant role of treating and keeping people alive. Going against that commitment to save life by taking away life questions their integrity and breaks patient- doctor trust. AMA strongly believes that giving alternative care and treatment during the last years of a patient’s life will be a good way of reducing the need for euthanasia, a reason why they introduced ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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