StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Euthanasia in the United States - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Euthanasia in the United States

It is vital that the health professionals understand the cultural, legal, and ethical climate that may allow, forbid, or dictate the use of what is commonly called euthanasia.
For the purposes of this discussion, euthanasia is in context with patients that are terminally ill, have a poor prognosis, a very limited life span, in palliative care, and are suffering due to a low quality of life or intense pain. While euthanasia is a generic term often used by the public, it requires further definition. Voluntary euthanasia is done at the patient's request, while non-voluntary is committed when the patient may be incompetent to make the decision or in a comatose state and the decision is made by a surrogate (Cohen et al. 1099). Withholding treatment that could sustain life is a form of euthanasia, and may come at the request of a patient, a surrogate, a physician, or a medical review board (Cohen et al 1099). Terminal sedation is, "the practice of sedating a terminally ill competent patient to the point of unconsciousness, then allowing the patient to die of her disease, starvation, or dehydration" (Braddock and Tonelli). Physician assisted suicide (PSA) is the prescribing of a lethal dose of drugs with the knowledge that the patient intends to commit suicide (Cohen et al. 1099). Each form of euthanasia carries its own legal ramifications and is governed by its own set of ethical considerations.
While Belgium and the Netherlands in the European Union have enacted laws that permit euthanasia in a well-regulated setting, in the United States it is generally forbidden. From a legal standpoint, voluntary euthanasia (suicide) is allowed in only four states due to "neither statutory nor common law prohibitions against suicide" (Darr Part II 33-34). Non-voluntary euthanasia is outlawed in all fifty states and would fall under the statutes that prohibit murder (Cohen et al. 1099). While these forms of euthanasia are against the law in most US jurisdictions, other forms may be permitted in special situations.
Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is a topic that has gained wider discussion in recent years as medical treatments may prolong a person's life, but are unable to add to the quality of life. PAS came to the public's attention when Dr. Kervorkian admitted to assisting suicide in as many as 130 separate cases (Darr Part II 32). According to Darr Part II, "All his assisted suicides occurred in Michigan, which initially had no law banning it" (31). Michigan subsequently passed a law, but Dr Kervorkian continued the practice. He was eventually sentenced for murder and after exhausting his appeals the US Supreme Court denied his writ for certiorari in 2002 (Darr Part II 32). However, these actions opened the door for states to create legislation that would permit PAS. Currently only Oregon has a law that permits PAS. In Texas, PAS is governed under section 22.08 of the state penal code that states if, "the actor's conduct causes suicide or attempted suicide that results in serious bodily injury" it is considered a jail felony (Chapter 22).
The argument over PAS has been, and continues to be, controversial. Kervorkian's argument was predicated upon Roe v. Wade on the basis of individual autonomy and the right ...Show more

Summary

Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, has come to the forefront of attention as the public, health care workers, and the medical profession wrestles with new attitudes and ideas about the ethics and legality of the centuries old practice. The intentional taking of the life of a patient runs counter to the role of the physician as healer and had always been deemed officially unacceptable, while ethical considerations for euthanasia have sometimes been accommodated in the name of relieving suffering…
Author : starkjosiane
Euthanasia in the United States essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Euthanasia in the United States"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Euthanasia
Euthanasia is Greek for “happy death,” and involves the active killing of another because one's life is not worth living. The practice has been widely legalized throughout Europe, although the United States has yet to legalize it.
15 pages (3750 words) Essay
The Debate over Physician Assisted Suicide
There are many patients who lead an agonizing, miserable deathlike life and one needs to keep in mind that physician-assisted suicide is just mercy killing for such troubled patients and the society needs to show them compassion in dying. Similarly, PAS raises questions regarding one’s human rights as it deals with the debate over one’s right-to-die.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Euthanasia sholud be lgalised in the uk'.discuss this statemnt giving arguments on both sides of the debeate
Specifically, the British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defined euthanasia as “a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering” (Harris 2001, p. 367). Globally there are a variety of legal perspectives on euthanasia.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Euthanasia
However, active euthanasia is undertaken on an individual only when his or her doctors and family members agree and make the decision to kill actively to end the agony suffered by their loved one. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, lets the suffering person die by withholding the necessary medical care and allowing the disease to kill the person instead of a fellow human being.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Psychology End of Life Issues The Right to Die
The idea of euthanasia is also not chosen by people because it is considered morally and ethically wrong by different religions. But euthanasia needs to be a personal choice of the individuals or the family members of someone who is in constant pain and has little hope of leading a life of quality.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Euthanasia
Very few countries have legalized euthanasia to date and the ones that do allow euthanasia have very strict laws regarding it. It should be mentioned that while guidelines have been set, each case has to be considered on a case-by-case basis and as for the right to die cases are unique in each case.
12 pages (2500 words) Essay
Come up with one
at “once you open the door for killing of patients for one reason, it is nearly impossible to limit the “right” to that one circumstance” (Wisconsin Right to Life: Euthanasia, 2011, par. 24). The author, Leff (2007) proffered pertinent issues relative to ethical issues
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Task Discuss the extent to which the law of the United Kingdom and the United States makes provision for assisted dying, while at the same time providing adequate protection for human rights. The research summary must include reference to the following:
In the present day there have been attempts to legalize assisted suicide. This attempt has met strong opposition from human rights activists citing issues of right to life. However
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Voluntary/assisted Euthanasia
On the other hand, assisted euthanasia is a term used to describe the act whereby a patient himself administers life taking drugs for ending his life. These drugs are prescribed by the clinical practitioner but he is involved in their administration. This
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Euthanasia
Literally translated, therefore, the term Euthanasia means the good death. Euthanasia is a debatable ethical issue because it seems to violate individual’s right to life, on the one hand, and on the other
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation