The Journal Of The American Medical Association Essay

The Journal Of The American Medical Association Essay

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“It’s Over, Debbie” an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, written by an anonymous person, sparks a heated debate concerning the nature of euthanasia. The article is written from the perspective of gynecology resident’s. After analyzing the patient’s condition, he gives her a twenty milligram dose of morphine sulfate. This amount of dose is not concerned lethal; however, given the patient’s underweight body and medical condition was enough to kill her. The problem arises in determining whether this was active or passive euthanasia. Due to the ambiguous wording of the article, the answer can vary from reader to reader. For example, the anonymous author describes how the nurse gave the resident hurried details, and how the resident was in middle of sleeping when the call happened. One may argue that the lack of communication between the nurse and the resident caused the patient’s death; this can be interrupted as medical malpractice not murder. Also, Debbie tells the resident that she wants to get this over with. This can be viewed as her asking the doctor to euthanize her. Of course, the ambiguity of the text leaves room for speculation.
However, there is sufficient textual evidence to support the hypothesis of blaming the resident for active euthanasia. When analyzing the patient’s health, the resident makes comments about how her state is affecting her youth and potential. He claimed that the morphine would be enough to complete the job. He also explains how this is a way for Debbie to say her final goodbyes. His actions become even crueler when he decides to watch if his calculation where correct. Once the patient finally dies, his final thoughts are it is over.
The amount of morphine given...


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...ten favorable to saving one life. For example, the cost of caring for one patient with Alzheimer’s Disease is immorally expensive. To expand the list, treatment options for Alzheimer’s are limited. That money can be easily used to save lives that are impacted by diseases that can be readily cured. From a calculating perspective, it seems easier to kill one patient while saving many others. However, when morality and emotions are added to this equation the solution is murky.
To avoid the slippery slope that surrounds euthanasia, it must be banned. The few expectations may be in the case of, as Callahan suggested, the terminally ill. Death is inevitable for such people; therefore, whatever path is chosen for the terminally ill the destination is the same. The decision to euthanize people who may have a chance of survival is a burden that many may not want to endure.

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