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Euthanasia

Uploaded by orbital226 on Oct 17, 1999

"A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless to resist." -Steward Alsop, Stay of Execution Euthanasia has become an issue of increasing attention because of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted suicides. As of October 21 Kevorkian has assisted in nineteen suicides. Because of the increasing number of suicides in Michigan, Gov. Engler signed an anti-suicide law in late February that made doctor-assisted suicides a felony. During the 21-month trial period of the new law anyone assisting in a suicide can be sentenced to up to four years in prison and fined more than $2,000 (Reuters, 1993). With the passing of this law I thought that most people would be against the right-to-die, not so. In a poll cited in a 1991 issue of USA Today eighty percent of Americans think sometimes there are circumstances when a patient should be allowed to die, compared to only fifteen percent think doctors and nurses should always do everything possible to save a person's life. It also showed that eight in ten adults approve of state laws that allow medical care for the terminally ill to be removed or withheld, if that is what the patient "wishes", whereas only thirteen percent disapproved of the laws. Also seventy percent think the family should be allowed to make the decision about treatment on behalf of the patient, while another five percent think this is suitable only in some cases (Colasnto, 1991, p. 62). The results on mercy killing surprised me even more. Seventy percent think it is justified at least sometimes for a person to kill his or her spouse, if he or she is suffering terrible pain caused by a terminal illness. Even suicide is starting to be accepted. About half the public thinks a "moral right" to suicide exists if a person has an incurable disease or is suffering great pain with no hope of recovering (Colasnto, 1991, p. 63). About half of those with living parents think their mothers and fathers would want medical treatment stopped if they were suffering a great deal of pain in a terminal disease, or if they became totally dependant on a family member. Forty percent of their parents would want medical treatment stopped if daily activities became a burden (Colasnto, 1991, p. 63). With the continuous coverage of Dr. Kevorkian the views of people will continue...

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Uploaded by:   orbital226

Date:   10/17/1999

Category:   Politics

Length:   8 pages (1,762 words)

Views:   1441

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