Euthanasia: a Hot Topic

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Advance health care directive Pages: 6 (1576 words) Published: November 27, 2007
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Euthanasia: A Hot Topic
Euthanasia is a sensitive topic. It is a classic paradox. To intentionally violate a basic human moral law in order to ease the suffering of another. Is it killing another person or releasing them from their earthly hell? When is euthanasia acceptable? At what point does the act justify itself?

There are several types of euthanasia that should be identified before one can formulate an informed opinion. Voluntary-Active euthanasia is a type of euthanasia in which a person is cognizant of his or her situation and chooses to die. Voluntary-Active is often performed by the afflicted person themselves. Non-Voluntary euthanasia is performed on a person without the means of expressing themselves in an aware state of mind. The decision to end the person's life can be made collectively by family members, physicians, clergy, insurance representatives, or even government personnel. The third type of euthanasia is Passive. This type of euthanasia is performed by simply discontinuing life-support equipment. Theoretically, this action removes any blame from the individual or any other outside influence by allowing the disease or trauma to take the life of the person as it originally would. There are many different circumstances and variables which affect each and every case in which euthanasia is considered. A standardized guideline for the implementation of euthanasia will not be a possibility, however, elimination of certain aspects and circumstances can be outlined.

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Voluntary-Active euthanasia has many fundamental conflicts which make it problematic. For Voluntary-Active euthanasia to take place, an individual must show an interest in ending their own life. One must consider the mental state of a person with a life-threatening disease or severe trauma and the pain involved. Are they disregarding the possibility of recovery in an attempt to relieve their pain? With the sudden onset of disease or severe injury, many people lose hope and gain a sense of defeat. It could be this sense of hopelessness that drives some to the conclusion of Voluntary-Active euthanasia. Sometimes the guilt of burdening family and friends with the task of financing the individual's healthcare and prolonging their worry will influence such decisions when that is simply not the case. On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes persons are unfairly coerced into accepting Voluntary Active euthanasia as an option due to family member's greed or desire to end the afflicted persons perceived hopeless situation without proper understanding. Many times a person is more easily influenced during periods of great stress making the argument of Voluntary-Active euthanasia a question of the origin of a person's decision to accept it. Obviously, Voluntary-Active euthanasia brings about too many possibilities for incorrectly assessing an afflicted person's mental and emotional state for the ability to make the decision to end their life.

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Non-Voluntary euthanasia has many different moral and religious conflicts which make it controversial. Killing another human being without their consent is inheritably wrong in the eyes of any normal person. Without documentation, how can anyone know for sure what the wishes of an afflicted person could be? By allowing Non-Voluntary euthanasia to take place, a slippery slope of conditional judgments could take place with the influence of medical insurance companies taking a look at the expected cost of supporting a terminally ill or injured client without a set expiration date. It has been said before that money is the root of all evil as evidenced by the desire to expedite the receiving of inheritance by family or the conservation of funds by the previously mentioned insurance companies. Some would also say that ending another's life, no matter how justified, is act of evil. Non-Voluntary euthanasia is considered to be murder by most of the major religions of the...
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