Should Euthanasia be Prohibited? Essay

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Imagine a man, sixty years of age, who has just been told by a medical doctor that his wife of forty-three years has contracted an incurable and terminal disease. The medical doctor informs the man that his spouse’s condition will begin to deteriorate. The disease will lead to chronic acute pain in the body, followed by loss of motor functions, and eventually death. The man is living in the moment knowing that nothing can be done to prevent his wife’s disease from progressing, and in despair he chooses to over medicate her with painkillers. In his mind, the painkillers will allow her to evade pain and enter a realm of eternal sleep. This action is called euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as “a deliberate act undertaken by one person with the intention of ending a life of another to relieve that person’s suffering and where the act is the cause of death” (Gupta, Bhatnagar, and Mishra 1). Unfortunately, this type of situation is not far from reality. In fact, the first national survey on euthanasia, conducted in 1990, showed that 8,100 deaths resulted from administration of high doses of painkillers. The painkillers were explicitly administered to cause death. In 4,941 of these cases, the patients’ lives were deliberately terminated without their permission or awareness (Fenigsen 78). With the rapid increase of diseases being diagnosed annually worldwide, it is not a surprise that doctors and families see euthanasia as a viable alternative for the terminally ill. Indeed, euthanasia has become a common practice in society and a number of people, doctors and families alike, believe that is it the right thing to do. However, euthanasia should be prohibited in all circumstances because it goes against the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath, vio...

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... decides whether the right to die should override the principle of the sanctity of life. John Kersey examines the issues i." RS Review 2.3 (2006): 20. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.
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Smith, Wesley J. "Feeding Tubes Should Not Be Removed from Patients Diagnosed as Being in a Persistent Vegetative State." Greenhaven Press 0.Fall (2006): 0. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.
Tarkki, Jarmo. "Assisted Suicide: Do We Own Our Bodies?." A Journal of Theology 43.2 (2004): 107-112. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.

"The slippery slope of assisted suicide." Washington Times [Washington, DC] 9 June

2011: B02. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.

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