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641 Prezi

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on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of 641 Prezi

Right to Privacy not explicitly outlined
14th Amendment
Due Process Clause Roe v. Wade (1973) Right to Die Right to Privacy constructed to include a Right to Die Dignity euthanasia
physician-assisted suicide defining one's own concept of existence lies at the heart of liberty

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) Death 1968 ad hoc committee
Harvard Medical School
whole-brain criteria 1981 President's Commission
"Defining Death" Report
adoption of Uniform Determination of Death Act
Uniform Determination of Death Act
an individual who sustains:
(1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or
(2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brainstem...is dead. higher-brain death
ceased functionality of the cerebral cortex
death of the "person" traditional definition
cessation of respiration
cessation of cardiopulmonary function whole-brain death
ceased functioning of the entire brain
including brain stem
regardless of heart/lung functionality
death of the "human organism" Euthanasia eu thanatos
greek term
"good death" death that benefits the person dying "the act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable and distressing disease as an act of mercy" preserve dignity
cease suffering technological advancements in medicine have forced many to outlive their own deaths sustained life
lingering death prolonged suffering has raised questions over a right to die with dignity Types of Euthanasia active or passive active euthanasia involves death actively and directly caused by another person passive euthanasia involves death caused by the omission of life-sustaining treatment classifed by degree of consent
nonvoluntary voluntary euthanasia
patient request
voluntary involuntary euthanasia
against patient's wishes
or without consuting wishes nonvoluntary euthanasia
incompetent patient
unable to express wishes regarding continued existence voluntary passive euthanasia is most common
voluntary active euthanasia is less socially accepted because death is ultimately caused by a physician Physician-Assisted Suicide less acceptable than
passive voluntary euthanasia more acceptable than active voluntary euthanasia request
physician aid The Right to Die do the advantages of legally recognizing a right to die outweigh its disadvantages? Advanced Directives proxy/power of attorney living wills The Right to Die in Other Countries The Netherlands Belgium Failed Attempts The Right to Die in the United States Cruzan In Re Quinlan Kevorkian Schiavo Washington Death with Dignity Act Hippocratic Oath “medical technology has effectively created a twilight zone of suspended animation where death commences while life, in some form, continues”

(Ball, 2002, p. 169) “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment;

I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect” do not resuscitate principle of non-maleficence 1984
The circumstances deemed necessary for medical compliance with a request for death were the following:
(1) an increased loss of dignity or unbearable suffering is present;
(2) death without dignity is unavoidable; and
(3) there are no available means by which a medical professional can ameliorate the patient’s suffering 1990
Upon revision, the conditions necessary for compliance with a patient’s request for death became:
(1) a voluntary, explicit, and well-considered request for death is made by the patient;
(2) the patient’s situation is devoid of hope for improvement and marked by unbearable suffering;
(3) no reasonable alternative exists to ameliorate the patient’s pain and suffering;
(4) the death is brought about by a doctor; and
(5) the administering doctor consults another independent, competent doctor before death is administered 2002
Several conditions must be met:
(1) a repeated, voluntary request must be made by the patient;
(2) the patient must be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor;
(3) the patient must be hopelessly ill and unbearably suffering;
(4) no alternative remedy exists to ameliorate the patient’s suffering;
(5) the patient must reside in Belgium;
(6) the patient’s physician must explain all alternative treatment options; and
(7) at least one month must pass between the initial request for euthanasia and the patient’s subsequent death In 1996, the Northern Territory of Australia passed a law legalizing euthanasia; however, this law was promptly nullified in 1997. Great Britain, in 2006, attempted to pass the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. Patient Self-Determination Act Washington & Vacco
Oregon Death with Dignity Act outlines six conditions necessary for an event of physician-assisted suicide to be permissible:
(1) a terminal diagnosis is present;
(2) the patient in question is suffering from an unbearable and irreversible condition;
(3) the patient is informed of their diagnosis, prognosis, and alternatives to physician-assisted suicide;
(4) the patient is not suffering from treatable depression;
(5) the patient persistently and voluntarily requests physician assistance in committing suicide; and
(6) physicians report the death brought about by physician-assisted suicide to the proper regulatory authorities Gonzales Washington citizens can request aid in dying if certain requirements are met...the patient must be:
(1) over 18 years of age;
(2) a resident of Washington;
(3) deemed competent to make such a decision;
(4) suffering from a terminal disease; and
(5) making a voluntary request Right to Die
Strengths & Weaknesses + the promotion of individual autonomy the potential to end suffering reduced burden to the nation’s health care system - reduced integrity of human life coercion in the decision-making process slippery slope Conclusions Though there exists a possibility that some patients could be negatively affected by a legal right to die through physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, such a possibility simply pales in comparison to the negative effect of actual agony experienced by those suffering from lingering life. It is critical to recognize that death is simply inevitable, and although a physician’s role is that of healing, there comes a point in human existence where healing is no longer possible. It seems nonsensical to allocate time and money to a useless fight against the inescapable. Refusing to allow physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia in a medical setting where healing is no longer an option constitutes patient harm. Continued existence in agony when death is certain but not immediate only benefits the afflicted patient as a human organism, not as a person. Although the argument for preserving the sanctity of life is compelling, respecting life in such a desolately dismal form plainly devalues it, as it can be argued that life is sacrosanct only when it is beneficial to the person charged with living it. The "slippery slope" argument has failed to prove valid. Competent individuals are currently afforded the right to refuse life sustaining treatment.

However, one cannot disregard the fact that this right only applies to competent patients; incompetent or incapacitated patients, by necessity of the terms “incompetent” and “incapacitated,” cannot express their end-of-life care preferences. The Supreme Court has left the decision regarding end of life care and the right to die to the states, as the states are more fitting arbiters of such personal topics The feasibility of attaining a death with dignity plainly decreased as medical advances increased.

The legal recognition of a right to die through physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia seem inescapable as the issues regarding dignified death will only be exacerbated in the future due to the inevitable advancement of medical technology. For the reasons outlined above, the legal recognition of a right to die with dignity would be advantageous to society as a whole.
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