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Lily Johnson1 Voluntary/Assisted Euthanasia
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According to the American Heritage Medical Dictionary (2007), euthanasia is the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. In other words, euthanasia is a physician-assisted taking of life. It is often voluntary – when a patient has no more strength and health to fight his disease and wishes to die in order to stop his suffering. However, sometimes a patient can be in a condition (for example, coma) when he is not able to make such decisions, and there is no hope for recovery. In these cases, the decision whether to euthanize a patient or not comes to his relatives. I can only imagine how hard this decision is. That is one of the reasons why legalization of euthanasia is a hot topic that strikes people all over the world. In this paper, I plan to discuss the impact euthanasia has on social values, moral, norms, and nursing practice. I want to examine the argument about the ethical side of this matter and to observe the possible consequences of legalization of euthanasia. Euthanasia has become a major concern to the medical professors, legislators, psychologists, as well as the society. It causes numerous discussions and debates about whether incurably ill patients have the right to die with the aid of the doctor. Interest concerning this controversial matter continues to provoke more and more disputes about whether it should be legalized. Though voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries and the US, it still is not a common practice as it raises many moral and juridical questions. Physician-assisted death is a complex issue in our society today. Assisted suicide has become the topic of public dispute and lawmaking activities across the nation. The U.S. Supreme Court has been concerned about important decisions involving the validation of this process. This issue calls into question the ethical values and legal base for all hospitals and healthcare facilities. Since the 19th century euthanasia has been a subject of intermittent debates in North America and Europe. Euthanasia has many advocates as well as the opponents. Supporters of the euthanasia appeal to such values as freedom of choice, quality of life, economic costs and human resources. Their opponents turn to moral and theological reasons, feasibility of such action, and professional roles of healthcare employees. Freedom of choice is a fundamental argument of those who support euthanasia. Proponents of voluntary euthanasia indicate that freedom to choose your own destiny is a principal feature of the democratic society and, thus, it is unfair to make a patient suffer from his illness by artificially saving his life if he wants to die. In addition to that, physical pain is not the only reason why patients want to die. Many of them also cannot cope with the emotional pain of losing their independence to their disease. Necessity of being taken care of due to inability to do it themselves makes patients suffer from their helplessness. It is a fact that today there is a shortage of hospital space and resources in many countries. Hospital beds and medicines could be used more efficiently for those patients whose lives can be saved instead of those who want to die. Such approach might increase general quality of care and shorten the hospital waiting lists. However, many people, especially religious, consider euthanasia immoral. They believe that euthanasia is a kind of murder, and voluntary euthanasia is a suicide. Both of these acts are unacceptable in a religious society and are considered to be sins. Some opponents of euthanasia argue that it can undermine the professional roles of doctors. They appeal to the fact that European physicians traditionally give the Hippocratic Oath that originally intended to exclude such actions like euthanasia: “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.” Euthanasia is a controversial issue that arouses numerous debates in the society. Its impact on medicine and social norms is very considerable. However, there is still no common view on this matter. It sure needs a further investigation as well as the new approach that will help to reach consensus concerning this question. If the article was cognitive for you, proceed to read other exclusive paper on Most of the articles are written by Lily Johnson, a professional writer.

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View Profile   By Tam Anh   17 days ago
great friend

. fuzz