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Ethical and Legal Aspects of Healthcare - Essay Example

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Ethical and Legal Aspects of Healthcare
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Ethical and Legal Aspects of Healthcare

Additionally, the procedure, if widely available, would lessen the urgency to make available new medicines designed to extend life. Those who are against the procedure on religious grounds contend that it is ‘playing God’ consequently sinful. Health care professionals refer to the Hippocratic Oath which prohibits them from performing this procedure. This discussion will examine the moral and legal concerns surrounding euthanasia, explain the meaning of the term, give arguments for the practice and end with a recommendation to solve the issue. Euthanasia describes a circumstance in which an incurably ill patient is given a mortal dose of medication, is detached from a life-support system or is basically allowed to die without active involvement for example by resuscitation. A physician’s involvement in the procedure could be to either intravenously insert a needle into the terminal patient who themselves activate a switch that delivers the fatal dose or to order a lethal dose of drugs with the express intention of ending a life. (Naji et al, 2005). Euthanasia by doctors as well as non-physicians has been lawful in Switzerland since WWII. Additionally, three organizations within the nation have been formed to help terminally ill patients. They supply patient counseling in addition to the medications for use in the procedure. Lethal injections, however, are not permissible. The atypical situation in Switzerland holds that euthanasia is allowed as long as a doctor is not involved in the process (Hurst & Mauron, 2003). Euthanasia has been legally permissible in Belgium since 2002. Each circumstance must be reviewed by two doctors prior to the procedure being performed by either injection or ingestion. In The Netherlands, euthanasia has been legal for seven years but has been tolerated for a quarter century. The directive for physicians stipulated by the government include; “the patient must be suffering unbearably and have no hope of improvement, must ask to die and the patient must clearly understand the condition and prognosis (and) a second doctor must agree with the decision to help the patient die” (“The Fight”, 2004). Advocates of euthanasia are concerned with people suffering. Many diseases such as cancer often result in a protracted and excruciatingly agonizing death. Witnessing a loved one as they slowly wither away from the malady eating away at their bodily organs is rough enough for their family members, but to see them in severe pain even when drugs are given is unbearable not to mention the agony the patient must endure. This physically and emotionally torturous circumstance occurs in every hospital, every day of the year yet serves no good purpose. To many people, it is unthinkable to allow anyone, for instance, a sweet grandmother who has spent her entire adult life caring for other people, to spend the last months of their life suffering from continuous pain, incapable of controlling bodily functions, coughing, vomiting, convulsing, etc. The emotional pain for both the patient and family is unimaginably horrendous as well. If grandma were an animal most all regardless of ideology would agree that the only compassionate choice would be to ‘put her to sleep.’ American citizens are guaranteed certain inalienable rights but not the right to ‘ ... Read More
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