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The Controversy Behind Euthanasia is Unjustified

Uploaded by JayJay on Dec 22, 2004

Euthanasia: The Controversy

Lisa, a 43-year-old woman was diagnosed with lung cancer, terminal disease. For the past 2 years Lisa has been receiving chemotherapy and taking numerous types of medication trying to prolong her life. This life prolonging treatment caught up with her. Everyday now Lisa has to battle just to get out of bed, everyday getting worse and worse. The doctors now tell Lisa she has six to eight months to live, and she has to receive 6 hours of therapy everyday. Lisa then breaks down in tears. She decides she doesn't want to go through anymore pain or suffering. Now knowing it is only a matter of time before she dies, she wants to end her suffering by taking her own life. Lisa can not do it by herself; she needs someone to assist her. But how can someone assist a terminally ill person in taking their life and not risk going to jail for it? This brings up the controversial and moral debate of legalization of P.A.D. (Physician Assisted Death) and the act of euthanasia in America. Should people who are terminally ill, go through pain and suffering, or should they have a choice? Why doesn't this women have the right to choose the way she lives or dies?

There is a difference between P.A.D. and euthanasia. P.A.D. involves a second party, actually a doctor, who gives the patient drugs and instructs the person planning to take his or her own life. With euthanasia, it is a doctor who administers the lethal drug dose. Since it is identical to homicide, active euthanasia is illegal in every state. But how do prosecutors define the difference between ending a person's life with his or her permission, and helping a person commit suicide? If a doctor, at a patient's request, gives the person a lethal injection, he or she may be charged with murder. However, if a doctor simply places the lethal injection by the patient's side, and the patient injects himself or herself, the doctors would be charged with assisted suicide. "In the Netherlands, because primary care doctors have long-term relationships with their patients, helping them die takes a heavy emotional toll (Neumann 5)." Although few doctors who perform it have been brought to trial and none have been convicted and imprisoned. Most doctors hesitate to practice assisted suicide on legal grounds. Doctors are trained to preserve life; most doctors...

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Uploaded by:   JayJay

Date:   12/22/2004

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,526 words)

Views:   9693

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