Safe legalization of euthanasia


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Safe legalization of euthanasia

  1. 1. Fall 2013 1 Can Euthanasia be SafelyCan Euthanasia be Safely Legalized in United States?Legalized in United States? Reading and Composition 1: Section 1920Reading and Composition 1: Section 1920 Professor: Timothy CramerProfessor: Timothy Cramer Presented by:Presented by: CHENCHENCHENCHEN TIANTIAN
  2. 2. Fall 2013 2 What is Euthanasia?What is Euthanasia? EuthanasiaEuthanasia (from(from GreekGreek:: ε θανασίαὐε θανασίαὐ ; "good; "good death": ε ,ὖdeath": ε ,ὖ eueu; "well" or "good" - θάνατος,; "well" or "good" - θάνατος, thanatosthanatos; "death") refers to the practice of; "death") refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve painintentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.and suffering. The challenge of legalizing euthanasia is dividedThe challenge of legalizing euthanasia is divided into the issues such as legal, moral, family, andinto the issues such as legal, moral, family, and health care. Medicine has become increasingly capable ofMedicine has become increasingly capable of postponing death.postponing death.
  3. 3. Fall 2013 3 Categories of EuthanasiaCategories of Euthanasia Passive Euthanasia: not taking the necessaryPassive Euthanasia: not taking the necessary actions to maintain life by refusing water, food,actions to maintain life by refusing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures.drugs, medical or surgical procedures. Voluntary Active Euthanasia:Voluntary Active Euthanasia: a competenta competent person makes a voluntary and enduring requestperson makes a voluntary and enduring request to be helped to be helped to die. Non-voluntary Active Euthanasia: killing aNon-voluntary Active Euthanasia: killing a person not competent to give consent in order toperson not competent to give consent in order to relieve suffering.relieve suffering. Involuntary Active Euthanasia: killing someoneInvoluntary Active Euthanasia: killing someone to relieve suffering without consent whento relieve suffering without consent when consent could be given.consent could be given.
  4. 4. Fall 2013 4 Assisted SuicideAssisted Suicide Physician-AssistedPhysician-Assisted Suicide: SuicideSuicide: Suicide accomplished with theaccomplished with the help of a medicalhelp of a medical Assisted Suicide:Assisted Suicide: Suicide accomplishedSuicide accomplished with the help ofwith the help of another person.another person.
  5. 5. Fall 2013 5 History of EuthanasiaHistory of Euthanasia In ancient Greece and Rome, euthanasia wasIn ancient Greece and Rome, euthanasia was an everyday reality where many peoplean everyday reality where many people preferred to die voluntarily instead to suffer inpreferred to die voluntarily instead to suffer in pain for a prolonged time.pain for a prolonged time. Christianity reinforced the Hippocratic view on euthanasia – prohibiting the human killing and forbidding any aid in suicide –– and culminated in the steady opposition to euthanasia among medical doctors.
  6. 6. Fall 2013 6 Revival of Euthanasia DebateRevival of Euthanasia Debate The proposals for euthanasia revived in the 19th century with the revolution in the use of anesthesia. In 1870, Samuel Williams first proposed using anesthetics and morphine to intentionally end a patient's life.. By the 1890s, the euthanasiaBy the 1890s, the euthanasia debate has expanded beyonddebate has expanded beyond the medical profession to includethe medical profession to include lawyers and social scientists.lawyers and social scientists.
  7. 7. Fall 2013 7 Parliamentary BillsParliamentary Bills In 1906, first Parliamentary bill to legalize euthanasia was introduced in Ohio but it was ultimately defeated .. Two more Parliamentary bills wereTwo more Parliamentary bills were introduced; this time in Britain inintroduced; this time in Britain in 1936 and 1969.1936 and 1969. With the increasing acceptance ofWith the increasing acceptance of patient autonomy and the right-to-patient autonomy and the right-to- die in the United States thedie in the United States the euthanasia debate has once againeuthanasia debate has once again become a matter of public concern.become a matter of public concern.
  8. 8. Fall 2013 8 Public Awareness of EuthanasiaPublic Awareness of Euthanasia During the 1990s huge public attention wasDuring the 1990s huge public attention was given to euthanasia: books, articles, and TVgiven to euthanasia: books, articles, and TV programs promoted the concept to a wide public.programs promoted the concept to a wide public. Activist groups supporting the legalization of physician-assisted suicide or medical euthanasia, such as the Hemlock Society and Compassion in Dying, sprung up.
  9. 9. Fall 2013 9 Ballot InitiativesBallot Initiatives Bills on the topic surfaced in state legislatures around the country and voters in five states faced ballot initiatives to legalize physician- assisted suicide.. Oregon Death With Dignity Act, passed by a 51% to 49% margin in 1994. In New York and Washington State, concerned physicians and patients filed suits in federal court to overturn state statutes against assisting suicide.
  10. 10. Fall 2013 10 Supreme Court DecisionSupreme Court Decision Those lawsuits that ended in the United States Supreme Court in 1997 became the central issue of the political and moral debatedebate over euthanasia in the country. The Court refused to recognize a constitutionally protected liberty interest in physician-assisted suicide. The justices expressly reserved the matter to resolution through state political processes.
  11. 11. Fall 2013 11 Pros and Cons of Euthanasia The arguments and justifications advanced both for and against euthanasia have hardly changed in over a century. The history of euthanasia in America suggests this is a gravely complex social, political, economic, and cultural matter. Talk of a right to die raises the troubling question: once legalized for the dying, who can be denied such a right? Where does the freedom to die end and the duty to die begin??
  12. 12. Fall 2013 12 Pro Euthanasia ArgumentPro Euthanasia Argumentss It is human right born of self-determination. Patients have rights, autonomy, and freedom of choice in deciding when and how their life should end. Legalizing euthanasia would help alleviateLegalizing euthanasia would help alleviate suffering of terminally ill patients. It would besuffering of terminally ill patients. It would be inhuman and unfair to make them endureinhuman and unfair to make them endure the unbearable pain.the unbearable pain.
  13. 13. Fall 2013 13 Cons of EuthanasiaCons of Euthanasia Once granted to some, many infirm, depressed, or simply suicidal people might claim it, too. Parents or other surrogate decision-makers might demand it on behalf of minors or other incompetent persons. The infirm and disabled might feel obligated to die to lessen the burden that they impose on society and family members. Euthanasia legislation will be a step towards a callous attitude regarding human life.
  14. 14. Fall 2013 14 The Legal Status of EuthanasiaThe Legal Status of Euthanasia In the United States, individual states enact their own laws regarding murder, homicide, and end-of-life situations. Passive euthanasia is legal in all states, where the medical professionals establish guidelines for what types of treatment can be withheld from dying patients. No state permits active euthanasia. Only four states permits assisted suicide: Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont.
  15. 15. Fall 2013 15 What about other Countries?What about other Countries? Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are prohibited in most countries worldwide. However, end-of-life debates tend to occur more in North America, Europe, and Australia than they do in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East, although there are exceptions to this trend. Active euthanasia is legal only in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is also legal in these three countries. Assisted suicide is also legal in Albania,Assisted suicide is also legal in Albania, Switzerland, and Germany.Switzerland, and Germany.
  16. 16. Fall 2013 16 Safe Legalization of EuthanasiaSafe Legalization of Euthanasia I believe that euthanasia should be legalized on the national level, following the strict guidelines of Oregon’s “Death With Dignity Act”, among others that the person must be suffering from a terminal disease and voluntarily express and repeat a wish to die. A national government has to be prepared to enact a law. Medical professional organizations should not block such a law.
  17. 17. Fall 2013 17 ConclusionConclusion If healthy adults are given the choice of themselves or their loved ones dying with unrelieved pain and suffering or legalizing assisted suicide, most caring people will vote for latter. But the terminally ill are the ones who make a final decision and may demonstrate different ideas. Why don’t we give THEM a choice?