Euthanasia

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Should individuals have the right to physician-assisted suicide (euthanasia)?

According to the Dictionary of Foreign Words, euthanasia denotes death without pain, which is done at an untreatable patient’s request[1]. The developments in the field of technology and science had an enormous influence on medicine. Doctors have the ability to save more lives, cure, reduce suffering, which in a way has given them the power to sustain lives of patients whose mental and physical potential cannot be restored[2]. Their pain cannot be terminated and their deteriorated conditions cannot be reversed, therefore their solicitation for a dignified death grows louder. The Netherlands became the first nation in the world to openly allow the anti-life policy, and soon others have followed. In this essay, I will argue in favor of euthanasia, showing both legal and moral arguments. The legal debate regarding euthanasia in the Netherlands started with the “Postma case” in 1973, concerning a physician who had facilitated the death of her mother after repeated requests for euthanasia[3]. While the doctor was convicted, the court's judgment set out criteria when a doctor would not be asked to keep a patient alive against their will. The public acceptance of euthanasia got popular in time, and this lead to a shift in the composition of the Dutch governing coalition. Eventually, in 2001, the parliament decided that euthanasia should be legalized. On April 1st, 2002, the Euthanasia Act came into life[4]. It mentions that euthanasia is not punishable if the criteria of care by the practitioner is reasonable and respected. This criteria involves the patient's request, the patient's suffering, the delivery of the information to the patient about the medical alternatives and the prognostic, consultation of another physician and the performance of euthanasia[5]. On the moral side of the argument, people should have the right to...
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