Euthanasia Report and Recommendations

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EUTHANASIA

Presented by Scott McCulloch

27 October 2012

2. Table of Contents Page

1. Title page1
2. Table of contents2
3. Summary3
4. Introduction4
4.1 Objective4
4.2 Background4
4.3 Methods of Inquiry4
4.4 Definition of Terms4
5. Reasons Supporting Euthanasia5
5.1 Suffering5
5.1.1 Right to Refuse5
5.2 Life Support5
5.3 Public Opinion6
6. Reasons Against Euthanasia7
6.1 Loss of Autonomy7
6.2 Conflict of Interests7
6.3 ‘Slippery Slope’7
7. Conclusion8
8. Recommendations9
8.1 Alternatives9
8.2 Legal Control9
8.3 Preventing Abuse9
9. Reference List10

3. Summary
The findings and conclusions detailed in this report highlight the arguments for and against euthanasia. For those in favour, euthanasia offers a compassionate ending to a life of intolerable suffering, where there is no chance of improvement or recovery. They argue that those patients can be given some dignity by allowing them the right to choose when to die. Those against euthanasia fear making assisted suicide a legal practice because of the potential abuses and argue that improvements in palliative care can alleviate any suffering terminally ill patients have. They also state that allowing people the right to choose when they die will lead society on a ‘slippery slope’ to further allowances.

There are three (3) recommendations specified in this report: 1. All medical measures should be taken to relieve the suffering of the patient. 2. Legal control and strict medical guidelines.

3. Carers of terminally ill people should be investigated.

4. Introduction
This report highlights the arguments for and against euthanasia.
4.1 Objective
To report the advantages and disadvantages of legalising euthanasia and present recommendations. 4.2 Background
Euthanasia is currently an illegal practice in Australia. It has been decriminalised in Holland since 2002 (Robotham 2001, p.3), where there are strict legal and medical guidelines that must be adhered to. There has been no significant increase in requests for euthanasia since its introduction 10 years ago. In the Northern Territories, euthanasia was legalised after a landmark case but this act was quickly repealed (Chaney 2001). Public opinion polls in Australia tend to show support for the legalisation of euthanasia, with figures showing 60 to 80% in favour (Chaney 2001). 4.3 Methods of Inquiry

Research methods were based on credible publications and electronic sources. 4.4 Definition of terms
Euthanasia:Greek origin, meaning ‘easy death’. Today it defines the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease, or in an irreversible coma (oxforddictionaries.com 2012) Palliative Care:Care for the terminally ill and their families, especially that provided by an organized health service (oxforddictionaries.com 2012)

5. Reasons Supporting Euthanasia
A variety of reasons supporting euthanasia are as follows:
5.1 Suffering
Doctor Giles Yates, the president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW states that while good palliative care for many terminally ill patients can prevent pain and suffering, it is not possible in all cases (Yates 1999). He argues that voluntary euthanasia is not an alternative to palliative care; they can go together. Allowing a patient to suffer intolerable pain after palliative care has failed, goes against the principles of the medical profession, and is not compatible with compassion (South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society 1995). It can be seen that this argument for euthanasia is based on compassionate grounds.

5.1.1 Right to Refuse
Although patients have the right to refuse any...
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