Euthanasia or Continuous Sedation: Why the Conflict?

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Over the past few years, the quality of medical services has risen incredibly. Diseases that were incurable years ago can be healed now. Even though this advances, and the devices for early detection, still there are some health problems that cannot be cured. No matter how hard the doctors or physicians try, the patient will not get better. Patients with these conditions, called terminal diseases, can only be prepared to die. Sometimes the suffering until death comes in a few days, but sometimes it takes years. For diminishing patient’s suffering, physicians came with euthanasia and continuous sedation. The legalization of these practices has been in conflict for several years all over the world. If these options are intended to help the patient, what it’s the problem for making them legal? Both practices for scientific and ethical reasons are problematic as every treatment decision near the end of life (Broeckaert). Euthanasia is defined as the practice of intentionally ending someone’s life in order to retrieve pain and suffering; any action or omission intended to end the life of a patient on the grounds that his or her life is not worth living (ProCon.org, What is euthanasia?). As these definitions state, the purpose of euthanasia is to reduce suffering of a patient with a terminal disease. On the other hand, continuous sedation is defined as the practice where sedation (the lowering of the patient’s consciousness) is administered continuously until the time of death (Anquinet, Raus and Sterckx). It’s considered as an alternative to physician-assisted suicide also known as euthanasia. Continuous sedation is intended to find a solution for a refractory symptom, and lowering the level of consciousness as much as needed by the p... ... middle of paper ... ...emic Search Premier. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. Griffith, Richard. "Should assisted dying be lawful?" British Journal Of Community Nursing 19.2 (2014): 94-98. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. Messerli, Joe. BalancedPolitics.org. 01 Jun 2012. 23 Mar 2014. Powers, Carol L. "The Community Speaks: Continuous Deep Sedation As Caregiving Versus Physician-Assisted Suicide As Killing." American Journal of Bioethics 11.6 (2011): 65-66. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. ProCon.org. "Is the Debate over Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Primarily Religious in Nature?" 5 Jun. 2008. ProCon.org. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. —. "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?" 13 Mar. 2009. ProCon.org. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. —. "Top 10 Pros and Cons." 13 Dec. 2013. ProCon.org. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. —. "What is euthanasia?" 14 Sep. 2011. ProCon.org. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

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