The Euthanasia Debate

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A long, ongoing battle in the institutional review boards, ethics committee and in the United states federal court is Physician assisted suicide (PAS) and euthanasia. PAS refers to “a third part action informed by the intended objective (at the very least) to furnish a potential suicide with the lethal means necessary to end his or her bodily life” (Parteson 11). There are victims suffering in silence because of this issue and it calls for immediate action with a federal regulated law. The victims are cancer patients who want to end suffering from their illness and impending death, patients that are brain dead or on life support, and patients that have diseases that cause excruciating pain that ultimately deteriorate the quality of life until it is gone. The other victims are the families that watch their loved ones suffer, or care for the ones on life support for years without being able to aid them in their wish to die. There are also those potential victims that have a chance to fight and live, though in certain cases this fight has been taken away. There is a concern for innocent deaths such as the Jack Kevorkian case, “out of Kevorkian’s first 93 victims, only 27 were determined by autopsy to be terminal, that is, to have less than six months to live” (Olevich 21), that is why strict regulations is critical. The United States Supreme Court has left the decision to legalize and regulate assisted suicide to the states. Washington and Oregon are among the first to take the lead. Although they have taken the initiative, they are lacking fine detail and have left a few holes in the law that could create potential unnecessary deaths. Science is rapidly advancing pushing the boundaries past the national ethics committee, it is time ... ... middle of paper ... ...something people often do not have “Functionally independent persons were unlikely to have a living will (5.5%)” (Hanson, Rodgman) Works Cited Fraser, Sharon I. and Walters, James W. “Death: Whose Decision? Euthanasia and the Terminally Ill.” Journal of Medical Ethics 26.2 Apr. (2000):121-125 Web. 1 May 2012 Hanson, LC and Rodgman E. “The use of living wills at the end of life. A national study.” Archive of Internal Medicine 156.9 May (1996): 1018-22. Web. 6 May 2012 Hudson, Janice. Trauma Junkie: Memoirs of an Emergency Flight Nurse. Firefly Books. New York. 2001, 2010. Print Olevitch, Barbara A. Protecting Psychiatric Patients from the Assisted-Suicide Movement : Insights and Strategies. Greenwood Press. August 2002. Print. Paterson, Craig. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia : A Natural Law Ethics Approach. Ashgate Publishing Group. May 2008. Print.

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