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Active Euthanasia Pros and Cons Essay

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Abstract
Euthanasia is a long debated topic, going back for decades in our country alone. Both sides of the topic have valid points morally and ethically. The Netherlands have had euthanasia laws in effect since 1973. America has very few states with legislation on the books: Oregon enacted in 1997, Washington 2008. Germany experimented with Active Euthanasia in the 1930’s, resulting in one of the most horrendous genocides in the past millennium. No where else do we have a cohort more at risk than the elderly, as they fall prey to the pressures of getting out of the way, and with a burgeoning population of baby boomers now becoming the elderly our system already strained now faces even more pressure. Even though there is a widespread acceptance of euthanasia for the terminally ill in the Netherlands, Debate about who has the right to the procedure and how it should be controlled is far from over. (Sunny, Bloyd, 1995)

Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to briefly explore euthanasia with its different definitions, and to explore whether or not active euthanasia should be practiced in our, hospitals, and nursing homes and on the elderly. In a survey of 168 frail elderly patients at Dukes geriatric treatment clinic, researchers found that 39.9% favored physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill. 59.3% of the patients’ relatives 146 spouses, children, and siblings favored the same measure under the same circumstance, says Harold Koenig lead investigator of the study published in the October issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Duke University Alumni Magazine, (Mar. 2008)

Euthanasia:
Greek for the good death.
Euthanize: To kill a person or animal that is in a terminal condition with a great deal o...


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...es Not Increase The Severity of Depression Among Family Members Study Finds. Science Daily.com
Oregon Health and Science University did a study about how a patient who has terminated their life is not subjecting their family to anymore depression than one who dies naturally, even suggesting that the family members feel relief that the patient is not suffering anymore.
Difference of Opinion (Mar. 2008). Duke University Alumni Magazine, retrieved 2/21/2010.
Probably the most up to date study of the elderly and their families opinion on euthanasia, in this case physician assisted suicide. Dr. Koenig undertook this research because he felt that there was a lack of data on how the elderly feel on this subject. The study goes on to state that over 60% of adults surveyed approve of physician assisted suicide, however they are younger and healthy









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