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Euthanasia - Research Paper Example

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Currently, the question of euthanasia is one of the most painful, urgent, and widely discussed topics. In medicine, euthanasia is seen as the opportunity of a person suffering from a fatal disease to make an independent…
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Download file to see previous pages Despite the fact that in some countries it is permitted, there is still no consensus on the matter in the world. Unfortunately, even given the high level of its achievements under the influence of scientific and technological progress, modern medicine cannot save mankind from death and physical suffering. The fact that the issue of euthanasia is particularly important in modern medicine is also associated with a departure from the principle of medical paternalism to the principles determined by contemporary bioethics.
To begin with, for centuries, medical ethics had changed markedly. Previously medicine relied on Hippocratic Oath, the basic principle of which is as follows: “do whatever you like, but do no harm” (Hulkower 41). The ethics of Hippocratic medicine was an example of paternalism where the doctor was endowed with limitless powers in relation to the patient (McClenaghan 10). Today, medical ethics is based on four ethical principles that demonstrate a departure from medical paternalism. None of them is leading, since they are all equivalent (Varelius 377-380):
Translated from the Greek the word "euthanasia" means a "good death." (Ardelt 424) The term appeared in the 16th century. The English philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon identified the following main features of euthanasia: easy and painless dying and a strong belief that to die is the greater good than to feel pain and sufferings in life. Francis Bacon believed that the doctor should help the dying patients, so they were not so scary. He "discussed euthanasia as a fair, easy passage" (Pridgeon 49). After almost three hundred years, a modern meaning of the term had appeared. Euthanasia began to be understood as an attempt to help person experiencing unbearable suffering escape from life that is to show compassion towards him or her. Shortly after, the term was forgotten, and at the end of the twentieth century, the issue of euthanasia became rather disputable. There is a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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