Axia College of University of Phoenix
Under what conditions if any is euthanasia morally justified? Do individuals have the right to die or be kept mechanically alive by machines? Do doctors have a moral obligation to use every possible medical procedure to keep terminal patients alive or can they let the patient die with dignity? Dying has become a problem and to answer these questions without having any legal issues the terminally ill patient needs to have on file a living will regarding his or her end of life choices. According to (Gupta, Bhatnagar and, Mishra, 2006), euthanasia is defined as “a deliberate act undertaken by one person with the intention of ending life of another person to relieve that person’s suffering and where the act is the cause of death.” In other references, “euthanasia is derived from the Greek word meaning good death or commonly referred to as mercy killing.” (Building a Christian World View,1988, p. 428). There are two types of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia requires no steps to prolong the life of the terminal patient. Passive voluntary euthanasia is referenced to a patient who is in a vegetative state with little or no hope to gain consciousness in order to make decisions on their own. Active euthanasia involves human intervention to shorten life. An example of this is referred to as physician assisted euthanasia. This involves another person to intervene by injecting drugs into a suffering patient to shorten life and eventually kill the patient. Another definition of physician assisted suicide according to (Tucker,Steele,2007) is “ a medical practice that involves a physician assisting a terminally ill, competent adult in dying by writing a prescription for a lethal dose of a drug that will be self administered by the patient.” There are many cases that have focused national concerns on euthanasia. The most notable of all cases is that of Karen Ann
References: American Medical Association. (2008). Oregon still stands alone: Ten years of physician-assisted suicide. Retrieved July 15, 2008, from http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/05/12/prsa0512htm American Psychological Association. (2008). End of Life Issues and Care. Retrieved July 15, 2008, from http://apa.org/pi/eol/arguments.html Building a Christian World View. (1988). Volume 2 The Universe, Society, and Ethics ,Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Grossenbacher, J. (2007,Jul-Sep). The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the end of Life. Journal of Legal Medicine, 28 (3): 419-27 Retrieved July 9, 2008 from EBSCO Host database. Gupta, Deepak, Bhatnagar, Sushma, & Mishra,Seema, (2006). Euthanasia: Issues Implied Within. Internet Journal of Pain, System Control & Palliative Care, Vol 4 Issue 2, p 1-1, 1p, 1bw retrieved July 11, 2008 from EBSCO Host database. Hospice Foundation of America. (2008) Assisted Suicide; Hospice Care as aMerciful Alternative. Retrieved July 15, 2008, from http://www.hospicefoundation.org/newsroom/articles/assisted_suicide.asp Hospice Foundation of America. (2008) Why is Hospice Involved In The Schiavo Case? Retrieved July 15, 2008 from http://www.hospicefoundation.org/endoflifeinfo/schiavo_2b.asp Hospice Foundation of America. (2008). What is Hospice? Retrieved July 15, 2008 from http://www.hospicefoundation.org/hospiceINFO/ Physicians for Compassionate Care. (2008). Who We Are .Retrieved July 15, 2008 from http://www.pccef.org/whoweare/index.htm Tucker,Kathryn L. & Steele,Fred B. 2007, July-Sep). Patient Choice at the end of Life: Getting the Language Right. Journal of Legal Medicine. Vol. 28 Issue 3. P305-325, 21p Retrieved July 10, 2008 from EBSCO Host database.