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Essay on Euthanasia and Doctor-Assisted Suicide - The Will to Live

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Euthanasia and the Will to Live

 
The denial of food and fluids to Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the 36 year old Florida woman in a vegetative state since a heart attack, has caused Americans to ponder the fact that any one of them could be in this woman's place for a variety of reasons, like an auto accident, fall, mishap, etc. And most Americans don't want to be treated by their family as Terri is being treated by her husband - being denied food and fluids in order to hasten death.

 

It is appropriate to be appalled, but no one should be shocked. Denial of food and fluids to people who cannot speak for themselves has been going on for fifteen years in this country. It is routine practice in hospitals and nursing homes across the country. And for over a decade, the law on this, established by numerous court decisions and statutes, has been largely settled. If someone who is now incompetent to make health care decisions has not left clear instructions in a legal document (variously called an "advance directive," "durable power of attorney for health care," "living will," or ...


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