Euthanasia in Canada

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There is considerable debate today, both among the public and the politicians, about euthanasia. While the governmnt is hesitatant to venture into morals and ethics, it appears that euthanasia is gaining more press coverage, in light of the Sue Rodriguez and Robert Latimer cases. Indeed, the issue is difficult to resolve, and despite few advances, the government has enacted penalties in the Criminal Code to punish assisted suicide. Without reservation, euthanasia is illegal in Canada. Anincreasing number of people are turning to doctor-assisted suicide. As a result of a more liberal political arena, more people are agreeing that some form of euthanasia must be acceptable in specific circumstances. Politicians, and the courts, claim that the country is not yet ready for such a climate. The characterization of pro-euthanasia advocates by their counterparts as selfish, taking the easy way out, diserespectful of life, and challenging human dignity is misconstrued. Pro-euthanasia groups advocate self-dignity, personal choice, economic well-being, happiness, family support, and individual rights. The word euthanasia simply means good death, but has come to mean causing death with intent, whether by doing something (commission), or by omitting something(omission). Euphemisms of the pro-euthanasia movement, include "right to die", and "death with dignity". The term "passive euthanasia" is often applied to the withdrawal of useless treatment thatonly prolonging the dying of a person. This needs to be differentiated from withdrawing of something that is actually keeping them alive, the withdrawl of which actually causes their death. It has been pointed out that the pro- life lobby will be split and discredited if there is an insistence by some that all technological means must be used whenever possible to prolong life. No ethical doctor insists on the use of burdensome, ineffective of futile measure, commonly called 'disproportionate', when refused by the patient or...
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