Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia Essay

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Moral and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia

As we all know, medical treatment can help save lives. But is there a medical treatment that would actually help end life? Although it's often debated upon, the procedure is still used to help the aid of a patient's death. Usually dubbed as mercy killing, euthanasia is the "practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering" (Encarta). My argument over this topic is that euthanasia should have strict criteria over the use of it. There are different cases of euthanasia that should be looked at and different point of views that should be considered. I will be looking into VE (Voluntary Euthanasia), which involves a request by the dying patient or that person's legal representative. These different procedures are as follows: passive or negative euthanasia, which involves not doing something to prevent death or allowing someone to die and active or positive euthanasia which involves taking deliberate action to cause a death. I have reasons to believe that passive or negative euthanasia can be a humane way of end suffering, while active or positive euthanasia is not.

According Richard Gula, active euthanasia is legally considered homicide (5). Another intervention and approach to euthanasia could be through the use of analgesic means. The use of morphine or other anesthetic medication could be used to allow the patient to die or hasten their dying process. I consider the latter procedure to be more humane than that of the other because it is morally wrong to kill a person, rather it's humane for someone to die naturally. Before I discuss the rights and wrongs of euthanasia, I will define death or a person, when is it safe to say...

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...Jack D. "Euthanasia." Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1997: Microsoft Corporation. CD-ROM.

Frederick, Calvin J. "Death and Dying." Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1997: Microsoft Corporation. CD-ROM.

Gula, Richard M. What Are They Saying About Euthanasia?. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1986.

McGee, Glenn and Arthur L. Caplan. "Medical Ethics." Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1997: Microsoft Corporation. CD-ROM.

President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Defining Death: A Report on the Medical, Legal and Ethical Issues in the Determination of Death. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981.

Robert Matz; Daniel P. Sudmasy; Edward D. Pallegrino. "Euthanasia: Morals and Ethics." Archives of Internal Medicine 1999: p1815 Aug. 9, 1999 .

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