Euthanasia, specifically voluntary euthanasia has been a taboo subject for many decades in this, and other countries. Euthanasia, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary – bringing about of this, especially in the case of incurable and painful disease- comes from the Greek word euthanatos, meaning – a gentle and easy death. It is commonly known as death with dignity given to those who want the choice to die. No one can prevent death. The can only prolong it. Many people solicit their physicians to aid in the quick and easy death. Doctors, aware of ethics of their chosen profession, and consequences of their actions, especially malpractice suits, often refuse the request (www.euthanasia.org/ve.html). Involuntary euthanasia removes those people with a poor quality of life. Those people should have the right to die against their will, argue some health care providers. Ultimately, if no written living will has been left, the decision should fall on that person’s family. Health care providers declare that if a person has poor quality of life and their life is not worth living, they should not be given lifesaving treatment, regardless of the family’s opinion. They attest that they have the right to deny treatment requested by a patient if they think it is of no benefit to them, even if the patient wishes to have continued life. The physician’s role is to make a diagnosis, and sound judgments about medical treatment, not whether the patient’s life is worth living. They have an obligation to perform sufficient care, not to refrain from giving the patient food and water until that person dies. “Lucid individuals probably cannot anticipate what aggressive measures they would want for themselves should they become demented ...should allow the health care team to make unilateral decision to withhold CPR from severely demented patients...because of poor quality of life” – Dr. Donald Murphy of George Washington University Medical Center (www.pregnantpause.org/euth/whyin.htm).
The “lucky” ones who find a place in a hospice (palliative care center) have a peaceful, painless, dignified, easy death. Patients with some forms of cancer, stroke, arthritis, and AIDS find there are no treatments or cures for their ailments. It is a death sentence. If a person feels that all medical treatments have been exhausted, they should be able to mak...
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...ng is necessary in extreme cases of serious, incurable diseases, which cause an extraordinary amount of pain and suffering. Not only will the patient suffer through the ordeal, so will the person's family. Every case must be examined thoroughly, of course. A patient is hooked up to life-sustaining equipment such as a respirator for 2-3 years or even more. Who pays for it? Taxpayers pay for it. Who has to tend to that person? Highly paid health care providers tend to that patient. Who pays for their time? Taxpayers do. Is there any hope for recovery? If not, let that patient die peacefully. Our country must follow suit with Holland's ethical guidelines concerning euthanasia. Laws and statutes are changed everyday. Hopefully in the near future we will see a final decision on this matter.
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