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Discussing Euthanasia, more commonly known as mercy killing.

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Introduction

Euthanasia Euthanasia, more commonly known as 'mercy killing', is a contentious issue that is debated more and more these days. The Oxford English Dictionary defines euthanasia as `a gentle and easy death: bringing about of this, especially in the case of an incurable and painful disease`. Euthanasia would usually be the injection of a lethal dose of medication administered by a doctor. In this essay I intend to explore the various arguments surrounding euthanasia and I will put forward my reasons for claiming that euthanasia is morally unacceptable. One of the more common arguments in support of euthanasia is that it stops the pain of the terminally ill sufferer once and for all, so called 'mercy killing'. Some people argue that if a patient were in a lot of pain and distress it would be better to give them an `easy` and humane death. While this may be acceptable for a sick and dying dog, I ask you, is it really an acceptable way to treat a human? On the other hand there are often others, especially in the Hospice movement who maintain that if given the right treatment sufferers do not need to endure pain. ...read more.

Middle

Euthanasia may stop the pain and suffering of watching a loved one die but it also adds the extra burden on relatives who may have to live with, perhaps, a lifetime of guilt. Should euthanasia be legalised or not? The medical profession, like society in general, is split on this issue. Some doctors say that withholding the treatment of a patient in a deep coma-like state called Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) is acceptable in some circumstances. Ninety percent of specialists think that treatment should be withheld in some situations for patients diagnosed with PVS, a state in which patients are never expected to regain consciousness. These unfortunate people still need to be fed and cared for - they are still alive. It is said to be a waste of resources striving to keep alive a person who is never likely to wake up. In my opinion, the main problem with this is in the two phrases, " never expected" and " never likely." This shows there is a window for error that the doctors themselves admit. That is probably why only nineteen percent of doctors would be willing to administer the lethal injection themselves. What if the patient were wrongly diagnosed with PVS? ...read more.

Conclusion

Would there be any guarantee that a law dealing with Euthanasia would not be abused in the same way? In addition, policing a law such as euthanasia would be virtually impossible since the only person who could bring the charge against a doctor who committed euthanasia would be dead! In this essay I have explored some of the arguments on the contentious, and hotly debated, issue of euthanasia. Some people claim that euthanasia is acceptable as it ends the pain and suffering of the patient, however, in my opinion euthanasia should not be permitted under any circumstances. Hospices provide treatment that can prevent terminally ill patients from suffering pain so that their final hours can be comfortable and, as I have found out, even cure patients that were considered 'hopeless cases'. I also firmly believe that if the relatives had to make the decision about euthanasia it would cause a lot of arguments and guilt among families afterwards. I have also considered the possibility of a lethal injection being given to a person `diagnosed` with PVS and have concluded that legalising euthanasia would be in fact legalising murder under certain conditions rather than in all cases `a gentle and easy death`. In conclusion, it is my view that euthanasia is morally wrong and should not be legalised. ?? ?? ?? ?? Should Euthanasia be Legalised? Matthew Williams 5 1 ...read more.

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