Euthanasia

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Euthanasia PART A: SUMMARY I would like to begin by defining the issue of the article by Patrick Nowell-Smith. The issue of his article is legalizing euthanasia and giving people a right to decide when and how to die. What is euthanasia and why is it such a complex matter that raises all different kinds of opinions? According to the American Dictionary, euthanasia is defined as "the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment." It can be active euthanasia (relieve person from pain by killing) or passive euthanasia (letting die). Newell-Smith raises the questions if the person has a right to die when he/she wants to and how he/she wants to especially if suffering from terminal disease accompanied with excruciating pain. Since most of painless ways of dying involves assistance, Nowell-Smith states that the person has a very limited right to die when chooses so. He believes that person must have a right to die at a time and manner of his/her choice and that there is no moral difference between passive and active euthanasia. He also concludes that society should change their look at Death itself, not prohibiting its discussion as it once happened to Sex. Therefore he believes that laws on euthanasia should be liberalized. Nowell-Smith arrives at above conclusion by looking at three reasons for euthanasia should not be permitted and setting pros and cons against them hoping that reasons against will be stronger for reader. The reasons are: religious, moral and practical. He takes a detailed look at the last two reasons because there is not much to say about the first ... ... middle of paper ... ...on could be brought by emotions, which is probably often the case, but emotions are not a good base for rational judgment. The issue of euthanasia is very complicated, both sides have strong arguments and I don’t' think that consensus will ever be reached. A lot of people have different experiences, different lives and points of view. A lot of debates and research is going on but every person have his own moral, religious and practical standards and beliefs and I don’t' believe that by having a certain point of view one can change his to the opposite easily. Bibliography: Wesley Cragg and Chrisitine M. Koggel, Contemporary Moral Issues, (CMI), Forth Edition, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited. Patrick Nowell-Smith, The Right to Die, p.22 James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia, p.17 Colin P. Harrison, Euthanasia, Medicine, and the Law, p.14

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