Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicides
Proponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide argue that terminally ill people should have the right to end their suffering with a quick, dignified, and compassionate death. Opponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide argue that doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive as reflected by the Hippocratic Oath. Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide should be legal because terminally ill people should have the right to end their suffering with a quick, dignified, and compassionate death. On October 1, 1976, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the California Natural Death Act into law and California became the first state in the nation to grant terminally ill persons the right to authorize withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment when death is believed to be imminent. By 1977, eight states -- California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, North Carolina, and Texas -- had signed right- to-die bills into law. The World Federation of Right to Die Societies was founded in 1980. Margaret P. Battin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah, and Timothy E. Quill, MD, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester, stated the following in their 2004 book Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care & Patient Choice: "We firmly believe that physician-assisted death should be one--not the only one, but one--of the last-resort options available to a patient facing a hard death. We agree that these options should include high dose pain medication if needed, cessation of life-sustaining therapy, voluntary cessation of eating and drinking, and terminal sedation. We also believe, however, that physician-assisted dying, whether it is called physician-assisted death or physician aid in dying or physician-assisted suicide, should be among the...
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