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Euthanasia and Self Determination

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Euthanasia and Self Determination

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  • October 1999
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When speaking in terms of legalized euthanasia, and self-determination, Callahan feels that people should make decisions for themselves according to their own beliefs as to what comprises the good life. (pg. 226) He also states that we will, one way or another, die of some disease and that death will have dominian over all of us. (pg. 227) The meaning of this is no matter what we are all destined to die. In the case of death he first looks at suicide. This is when a person takes his or her own life, without the assistance of another. Euthansia, is a decision made between 2 people, the one being killed and the one doing the killing. He takes the stand that the very idea someone would waive their right to life, and then give another the power to take that life, requires a justification yet to be provided to him or by anyone. ( pg. 226) Should anyone want to end their life for any reason it can definitely be achieved.

Callahan feels that doctors of medicine should not be given the right to end lives of people who no longer feel life is worth living and that euthanasia should only be utilized only to relieve the pain of an incurable disease. (pg. 228) It is not medicines, place to lift from us the burden of suffering, which turns on the meaning we assign the decay (or natural aging process) of the body and its eventual death. It is not it's place to determine when lives are not worth living or when the burden of life has become to great to be borne. (pg. 229) Hence he is saying that physicians should not be allowed to be the sole person making judgements about who should be allowed to live or die, in any situation.

The person who knows that he or she is infected and chooses to forego treatment has decided to commit suicide. The flipside of this is the person who infected the individual initially , knowing that they were infectious decided to end the other persons life for them. This by our standards ehis would be murder. However, should both parties...

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