Unit 7 Project Part 3: Opposing Sides

Topics: Medicine, Death, Health care Pages: 3 (912 words) Published: May 25, 2013
My initial position Euthanasia is wrong and should never be legalized

Laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others. They are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer. Activists often claim that laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are government mandated suffering. This claim would be similar to saying that laws against selling contaminated food are government mandated starvation. In a society as obsessed with the costs of health care and the principle of utility, the dangers of the slippery slope are far from fantasy.

Assisted suicide is like a half-way house, or a stop on the way to other forms of direct euthanasia. If terminating life is a benefit, the reasoning goes, why should euthanasia be limited only to those who can give consent? Why do we need to ask for consent? In cases like Schiavo's touch on basic constitutional rights, such as the right to live and the right to due process, and consequently there could very well be a legitimate role for the federal government to play. There's a precedent as a result of the highly publicized deaths of infants with disabilities in the 1980s. The federal government enacted 'Baby Doe Legislation, which would withhold federal funds from hospitals that kept lifesaving treatment from newborns based on the expectation of disability. The medical community has to have restrictions on what it may do to people with disabilities. What would happen if some members of that community are willing to do anything when no restrictions are in place?

Savings to governments could become a consideration. Drugs for assisted suicide cost about $35 to $45, making them far less expensive than providing medical care. This could fill the void from cutbacks for treatment and care with the treatment of death. It must be recognized that assisted suicide and euthanasia will be practiced through the prism of social inequality and...
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