Do Not Resuscitate: Moral and Ethical Dilemma

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Annette Morris
Mark Mills
English Comp 2
November 29, 2010
Do Not Resuscitate: Moral and Ethical Dilemma
Who has the right to take one's life from them? The Supreme Court says that no man shall take the life of another man without punishment. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13), yet humans still kill their own kind. How is DNR different? Wikipedia’s definition of DNR or Do Not Resuscitate is “A do not resuscitate document, often called a living will, is a binding legal document that states resuscitation should not be attempted if a person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. Abbreviated DNR, such an order may be instituted on the basis of an advance directive from a person, or from someone entitled to make decisions on their behalf, such as a health care proxy.” The state of Montana tried and convicted Dr. Kevorkian of murder just because he helped sad, tired and suffering patients end all of their pain, by killing them. Is this murder? I believe it is; Dr. Kevorkian killed his victims. He had their permission, but nonetheless, he ended their lives. DNR is different. Why should we have to stay alive or suffer? There comes a time when medical technology is just impending in the grand scheme of life. What's wrong with death? What are we so afraid of? Why can't we treat death with a certain amount of humanity, dignity, and decency? Whether the patient believes in an afterlife or not, death is a part of life. In Barbara Huttman’s essay "A Crime of Compassion" she addresses these points and this very controversial question: When is it lawful and moral to take the life of another person? Her patient Mac had cancer, although he and his family wanted a DNR, during 1983 only the doctor could sign a code status. The doctor refused to sign one for Mac. Huttman said that she resuscitated Mac "52 times in just one month." Is it fair to make someone suffer through pain day in and day out, just waiting to die? Huttman disobeyed hospital...
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