Euthanasia and the law

A number of ethical questions are concerned with the endpoints of the human life span. The question of whether abortion or the use of human embryos as sources of stem cells can be morally justified was exhaustively discussed… The opinion that euthanasia is morally permissible is traceable to SocratesPlatoand the Stoics.

Euthanasia and the law

Introduction In a issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, an article titled "It's Over Debbie" describes how an anonymous doctor administers a fatal dose of morphine to a woman dying of ovarian cancer Anonymous, In a issue of the Euthanasia and the law England Journal of Medicine, ten doctors associated with the nation's leading hospitals and medical schools declare their belief that "it is not immoral for a physician to assist in the rational suicide of a terminally ill person" Wanzer, et.

Timothy Quill which discussed his decision to help a patient suffering from leukemia commit suicide Quill, Jack Kervorkian uses his suicide machine to help a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease, one Janet Adkins, end her life in the back of a Volkswagen bus Risen, Janet was the first of twenty patients who have been aided by Kervorkian in the past three years.

He remains committed to his practice. In the Hemlock Society publishes a how-to manual on committing suicide. Entitled Final Exit, it zooms to the top of the national best seller lists and stays there for several weeks Altman, Each of these events has served to provoke ever widening media coverage of the issues surrounding euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, and a national debate has arisen around these practices.

This debate is not merely limited to attorneys and physicians. Suddenly, these issues and this debate are now a part of life in mainstream America, and many Americans face dilemmas that did not exist in simpler times; dilemmas that many would rather not have to face.

The Nature of the Debate It is this sudden change in the way Americans are dealing with death, the nature and scope of the debate about dying, which prompts this analysis of the issues surrounding euthanasia.

This debate is largely a debate about what is ethical. Questions the debate attempts to answer include: Is it right to commit suicide? Is it ethical for someone else to help? Is it right to put others to death at their own request or at the request of family members?

The Ethics of Euthanasia

These questions are important because they help to define our society and our culture. The way people deal with and respond to issues of life, ritual, and death serves to shape the nature of our society. This is why society must attempt to decide what is right; what is ethical conduct for the various actors in our communities when we face death.

There are several reasons why this debate has surfaced in the 's. Death is nothing new, it has existed for thousands of years. Each culture has developed its own rituals and mechanisms for dealing with death. These mechanisms serve to provide solace, a sense of continuity, and allow the culture to continue even as the members of the community cannot.

However, our own culture has experienced many shattering changes that have altered the nature of dying. Suddenly we are forced to rethink the issue of death and we must decide what types of behavior are ethical when someone is dying.

Before we can examine the debate about the ethics of dying, we must examine why the debate exists. Perhaps the main reason that death has changed in western culture has to do with advances in medicine and technology.

Many of the diseases that have historically killed people are now no longer a threat to most individuals. Medicine has made a variety of advances in the treatment of diseases such as smallpox, tuberculosis, malaria, pneumonia, polio, influenza, and measles.

People now rarely die of such traditional causes. Life expectancy has risen to almost 75 years in the United States. The quality of life has also changed fundamentally during the past years.

Not only does almost everyone in the United States have enough to eat, but people eat higher on the food chain. There is a great deal more meat and animal fat in modern diets.

Just these differences alone have changed death significantly. People now develop heart disease, adult onset diabetes, cancers, and AIDS.The law was guided by the Netherlands and Oregon experiences, and the public was assured that any defects in the Dutch law would be addressed in the Belgian law.

Luxembourg legalized euthanasia and pas in Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Withdrawal of Life Support. Euthanasia and withdrawing life support are covered by health care schwenkreis.comr either is allowed varies from state to schwenkreis.comasia is a word generally used to describe mercy killing, which differs from assisted suicide in that the patient or person in pain is killed by someone else.

Time To Say Goodbye: A Practical Guide to Pet Euthanasia (Having Your Pet Put Down). The difficult decision to "put down" or euthanase (euthanatize) a beloved family pet is an issue all too often faced by pet owners and their veterinarians.

Euthanasia, also called mercy killing, act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from painful and incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder or allowing them to die by withholding treatment or withdrawing artificial life-support measures.

State Laws Governing Euthanasia This is a summary of statutory and regulatory provisions that AVMA is aware addressing the euthanasia of companion animals. A survey of the 50 states' euthanasia laws reveals that several states allow non-veterinarians to perform euthanasia on companion animals.

Euthanasia and the law

The Euthanasia Act in the Australian Northern Territories The parliament of the Northern Territory in Australia passed the Rights of the Terminally Ill (ROTI) Act in May , which was in effect for nine months from July 1, , to March 25, , when the act was repealed by legislation passed by the parliament of Australia.

Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls