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Euthanasia - Essay Example

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Euthanasia is the process of intentionally ending a patient’s life in order to alleviate pain and suffering and allows the individual to be comfortable at the end stages of life. There are different forms of euthanasia, including voluntary, non-voluntary, involuntary, active…
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My Stand of Euthanasia School My Stand of Euthanasia Euthanasia is the process of intentionally ending a patient’s life in order to alleviate pain and suffering and allows the individual to be comfortable at the end stages of life. There are different forms of euthanasia, including voluntary, non-voluntary, involuntary, active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is the process of ending the patient’s life to end pain and suffering but such a decision is made by the patient. Involuntary euthanasia involves performing euthanasia on a patient, who is able to provide informed consent, but in such circumstance consent for euthanasia is not being asked or the patient may not want to die, though they may not oppose euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia is not always murder. Non-voluntary euthanasia or mercy killing involves ending the life of the patient, without consent as in such a circumstance consent from the patient would not be available. Non-voluntary euthanasia involves killing a patient who may otherwise not want to die. Active euthanasia involves the use of a lethal substance or a lethal dose of a substance in order to end the life of the patient. In passive euthanasia, the life of the patient is ended by withholding life saving treatment. Except for passive euthanasia, all other forms of euthanasia are not approved by the legal systems of many nations. In the year 2009, several states across the world including Oregon, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Washington and Switzerland permit some form of euthanasia. Whereas in the state of Oregon, the final step of ending one’s life would be performed by the patient (Physician-assisted suicide or PAS), in Netherlands, active euthanasia is permitted under the law to people suffering from terminal diseases (C Duncan 2004).
With regards to euthanasia there are several ethical, legal, moral, religious, social, political, medical and family issues. Most religious systems across the world do not permit euthanasia, as ethical and moral principles go against ending a patient’s life so as to alleviate suffering. Medically, euthanasia is not favorable as it would not go in line with the duties of the doctor nor be in line with the Hippocratic Oath. Legal systems across the world do not favor euthanasia, except the above mentioned few. Most of the indigenous communities across the world and the Western civilizations have actually considered euthanasia to affect he ethical principles and hence have gone against it (Stanley Krippner 2010). However, there may be a cross-cultural difference between the attitudes towards euthanasia from across the world amongst the public which goes on to show that this could be determined socio-culturally. Between infanticide and geronticide, in the Chinese and American cultures, it was found that the American culture did not favor infanticide than the Chinese culture. On the other hand students from China found that between infanticide and geronticide, infanticide was more prevalent, and was more culturally acceptable in the Chinese society than geronticide. It was also found that education, family values, judgment of the majority of the population, etc, had a major role to play towards the development of attitudes towards euthanasia (Yueh-Ting Lee 1996).
My stand on euthanasia would be to develop a position against the use of euthanasia. However, I do agree with the current policy of many legal systems to permit passive euthanasia in certain situations as they would end the suffering of patients who would be affected with an irreversible disorder and terminal condition. My position would end at this, and I would not go on to develop a siding for PAS or other forms of euthanasia as they may activate the slippery slope towards immortality.
Works Cited:
C Duncan. ‘Types of Euthanasia’. 2010. ITHACA School. 20 April 2012.
Stanley Krippner and Stefan Kasian. ‘CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON EUTHANASIA AND PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE.’ 2010. Chair for the Study of Consciousness. 20 April 2012.
Yueh-Ting Lee. ‘Cross-Cultural Research on Euthanasia and Abortion’. Journal of Social Issues 52(2): 131-148. Read More
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