By Feba Erattakulangara, Jacinda Koski, Nne Uyoh, Olga Gray
Grand Canyon University
Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
February 24, 2013
Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma (Part1) Voluntary/ Assisted Euthanasia
Amongst the multitude of ethical dilemmas in health care the debate about voluntary or assisted euthanasia presents to be the most controversial. For over two thousand years it has been a banned medical practice. In modern days there are several states in the United States of America which have legalized Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS). These states are: Oregon, Washington and Montana. As the word euthanasia comes from Greek eu thanos which means “good death” we all would like to see people in our communities die with dignity and without suffering. (Best, 2010) The following two cases presented for this analysis demonstrate the complexity of this ongoing dilemma and the unfortunate effects it has on those who are involved.
A very powerful statement opens the Dax case video, which was delivered by Donald Cowart, the person who was put through tremendous amount of unwanted painful treatments for his accidental third degree burns which affected sixty five percent of his body. His words were: “the view that the end results justify whatever means necessary to achieve it - is absurd”(Donald Cowalt, 1973). This statement makes more sense after following Dax’s emotional testimony about years of living in tremendous amount of pain, total disability and disfigurement, loss of control of his own life, despair and helplessness from not being able to end it according to his own wishes.
A very different case of Terry Schiavo also presented life versus death dilemma, but in a different angle. After the unfortunate sequence of events left young Terry mentally and physically disabled, her family was willing to
References: Best, M. (2010). The Ethical Dilemmas of Euthanasia. Retrieved from http://www.case.edu.au/images/uploads/Best_article__2_.pdf Klugman, C.M. (2006) Reframing Terri Schiavo: One Family 's Story of Morality, Ethics, & Politics. The Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics. 2006 Volume 4 Number 1. DOI: 10.5580/5df . Purtilo, R., and Doherty, R. (2012). Ethical dimensions in the health professions (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier American Nurses Association, retrieved Feb 28, 2013. Www. Nursingworld.org Rick Daniels (2004). Nursing Fundamentals. Thomson learning, USA. Tanya Johnson (1999). Handbook on Ethical Issues on Aging. Greenwood Press. Westport, USA