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Transcript of Euthanasia
Christina Summary of Problem & Background Ethical Concerns Theories & Approaches Get Involved Perspectives of Different Groups Works Cited What is Euthanasia? Utilitarian Argument
Futile Care Theory and Healthcare Rationing Insurance Companies Getting involved is easy and simple.
They are many campaigns nationwide
that focus on euthanasia and to comfort
with dignity the last days of patients life.
If anyone wants to get involved, below
there are some of the campaigns that
anyone can join. Utilitarian Libertarian Moral Relativism Cognitive Impairment Futile Healthcare Theory and Rationalizing Death With Dignity Groups Insurance Companies Insurance companies have terminally ill patients consider euthanasia because of the costs of having that person on their insurance. Death With Dignity
National Center Death with Dignity is an organization that deals with legal defense and education of the Oregon Death with Dignity Law for nearly 20 years Death With Dignity Continued National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) Euthanasia is not as clear cut as you may think; it is often linked to assisted suicide, and like most ethical dilemmas a substantial amount of grey area still exists. For the purpose of this presentation will we use a commonly used definition out of Medilexicons medical dictionary. Euthanasia is;
1. "A quiet, painless death." or
2. "The intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable or painful disease intended as an act of mercy." Classification and Procedural Types The two main classifications of euthanasia are voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia. The two procedural types of euthanasia are passive and active euthanasia. Voluntary and Involuntary Voluntary Euthanasia- Euthanasia conducted with consent. An individual willingly agrees to aid a patient in ending his/her life while they are awake and competent. Involuntary Euthanasia- Euthanasia conducted without consent. Basically, the decision is made by another person because the patient is incapable of doing so, and no legal document exists on the patient’s behalf. Passive and Active Passive Euthanasia- When life sustaining treatments are withheld. An example of this would be taking someone off life support or not resuscitating someone due to a legal document that forbids them to do so. Active Euthanasia- Lethal substances or forces are used to end a patient’s life. They are conducted by the patient or somebody else. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Euthanasia seems to be the word of choice in todays society, perhaps due to the harshness of the term "assisted suicide". However, in early Common Law as well as the Model Penal Code it was always referred to as assisted suicide. Like we are seeing now the definition and punishments have changed over time.
Euthanasia comes from the Greek word eu meaning "good", and the Greek word thanatos meaning "death". Common Law In common law suicide was a felony and was known as felo de se or felon of oneself. If two persons mutually agreed to commit suicide, and the means used to produce death was only effective on one, the survivor was guilty of the murder of the one who died. The US Model Penal Code According to the U.S.’s Model Penal Code assisted suicide falls under the causing or aiding suicide section (210.5). The first part of the law is cut and dry, you cannot cause someone to commit suicide by force, duress, or deception. It is a criminal homicide. The second part ties into euthanasia more directly by stating, “A person who purposely aids or solicits another to commit suicide is guilty of a felony of the second degree if his conduct causes such suicide or an attempted suicide.” Landmark Cases Their are several cases that have taken place over a long period of time that focus directly on Euthanasia and how it infringes, or does not infringe on an individuals constitutional rights.
Vacco v. Quill and Gonzales v. Oregon are two of the more well known cases that lead to a "legal" form of euthanasia within the United States. Vacco v. Quill Physicians brought action upon the New York statute saying outlawing assisted suicide was a violation of the equal protection clause. Basically they felt that competent terminal patients who wish to hasten their death by taking prescribed drugs should be treated no differently than competent terminal patients who refuse or decide to be taken off life support and allowed to die. The Supreme Court disagreed with this saying the two groups were not similarly situated and that legislatures drew a fine line between assisted suicide and refusal of life supporting medical treatment. Gonzales v. Oregon Perhaps the case that began to open the flood gates for legal euthanasia. Oregon had passed a “Death with Dignity” statute that allowed, under limited circumstances, a physician to assist a patient prescribing controlled substances in order to end their life. The federal government filed suit claiming a physician prescribing drugs in that manner was not a legitimate medical use, and therefore doctors could be found guilty of criminal charges according to the Controlled Substances Act. The Supreme Court did not rule directly on Oregon’s statute, but did say it went beyond the authority of the Attorney General to determine what was a legitimate medical purpose Death With Dignity Act Oregon’s “Death with Dignity” Act is still considered good law to this date, and as of March 2009 Washington State has now adopted the act as well. The law is however very regulated and only applies to a select few who meet the criteria. The criteria being: Over 18 years of age, mentally competent, and when given a notice of having 6 months or less to live they can ask their doctors for lethal medicine that they self-administer to end their life. Doctors and pharmacists opposed to this statute are not at all obligated to participate in it. To this date Oregon and Washington are the only two states involved in this practice. However, several other states such as Massachusetts Montana and New Jersey are considering it. Moral relativism teaches that there are no absolute moral truths...What’s true for you may not necessarily be true for me. It believes and teaches there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. The opposite view is held by Christians, and followers of many other religions, who believe that humans have an intrinsic value for simply 'being.' If as humans we have no true value, if there is no Creator - no God - then suicide, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are logically permissible People in comas, a persistent vegetative stage, Alzheimer and/or Parkinson's patients, the senile, persons with mental illness, the mentally retarded, are all likely to be at some risk if euthanasia is legalized, opponents believe. Bioethicists believe that people such as these place a strain on limited resources, do not qualify as 'persons,' and should be eliminated for the greater good Euthanasia opponents say that economics is behind the drive to legalize assisted suicide. Many patients with medical and surgical problems are no longer put on waiting lists because of funding issues. Places like New Zealand will be facing an expected increase in younger patients with diabetes requiring expensive dialysis treatment. Treatments are expected to be rationed, with those not making the list potentially facing palliative care or assisted suicide in the later stages. If an action promotes the best interest of everyone concerned and does not violate anyone’s rights then that action is morally acceptable.
In some cases, euthanasia promotes the best interest of everyone involved and violates no ones rights so there for it is morally acceptable. From a utilitarian point of view, justifying euthanasia is a question of showing that allowing people to have a good death, at a time of their own choosing will make them happier than the pain that their illness is causing them. They would like to keep their dignity in tact and avoid the distress of anticipating a painful death. Someone who has taken an interest in euthanasia will have already gone over these ideas and made the comparison for themselves.
The key is to the TOTAL amount of human happiness, not just the patient, so that even euthanasia opponents who agree with utilitarianism in principle can claim that the negative effects on those around the patient-family, friends and medical staff, would outweigh the benefit to the patient. Opponents may also argue that the net effect on the society as a whole will decrease in happiness for allowing euthanasia to occur. A Duty To die
The "Double Affect" Principle
The Process of Dying Duty to Die The "Double Affect" Principle Personhood The Process of Dying When dying people were cared for at home, adults and children alike knew what was going on, and the dying person was the center of attention. Since the 18th century the dying began to be hidden away in hospitals, and the dying person lost control of the process, while doctors battled aggressively to cheat death with medicine and technology. Hospices and hospice home-care are working towards those dying being permitted to have a natural death once again. They are showing that dying, from old age or illness, is simply a final stage of living The debate over 'personhood' is crucial to the issue of euthanasia. Some bioethics personnel claim that any cognitively impaired human would qualify as a non-person, while others claim that the only living non-persons are Persistent Vegetative State 'PVS' individuals, anencephalic, and probably fetuses. A 'non-person' would not have ethical, or legal rights and protections. Opponents liken this condition to slaves and the victims of the Nazi Holocaust This Principle justifies giving pain-relief treatment even if it has the effect of shortening life, provided the primary intention was to relieve the pain, not to kill the patient. Sometimes called Terminal Sedation (TS), when it is used appropriately as palliative care, the patient is sedated and death ensues from the underlying illness, euthanasia opponents point out that this is not euthanasia. Advocates, however, say it is hypocritical to allow TS to relieve pain but not when the intention is to hasten death With rising healthcare costs, and an aging population, if euthanasia or assisted suicide is legalized, disability activists fear that voluntary euthanasia will soon give way to involuntary or coerced euthanasia. Many health care professionals and bioethicists argue in favor of 'Futile Care Theory,' which measures the value of human life according to the financial cost of keeping the individual alive. Dr. Kevorkian "My specialty is death," Dr. Jack Kevorkian once told TIME.
Jack Kevorkian was the former medical pathologist known for his high-profile antics in support of voluntary euthanasia. A 1952 graduate of the University of Michigan medical school, Jack Kevorkian became known to colleagues as "Dr. Death" for his keen interest in dying patients. After a career in various hospitals in California and Michigan, he settled in Michigan in 1982, where he earned a living in part by publishing articles on euthanasia in European medical journals. Dr. Kevorkian became famous in the 1990s for his "death machine," a device he invented that allowed a user to self-inject an anesthetic and then a lethal dose of potassium chloride. (He called the machine a thanatron, after Thanatos, the figure of death in Greek mythology.) His initial "assisted suicides" led to a 1993 Michigan law that specifically prohibited him from continuing, a law he openly defied in an effort to force the issue into the courts. Right to Life Groups Religious Groups Religions The general christian view is that life is god given and we need to respect that. No human life can be taken away by another human. Christians also say that because someone is deciding that a certain human life is no longer worthwhile, is wrong. We cannot judge if our lives or others are or are not worthwhile. That is in gods hands. Christians also believe that the end of life time is spiritually an important time and we cannot disrupt that. They aim to provide more education about the death with dignity law. The Death with Dignity national center believes in being able to end your life if you have a terminal illness and you are in the right state of mind The death with dignity center defends, mobilizes, and preserves dignity. You have a right to die with dignity and this group protects that law in Oregon The right to life committee fights against not legalizing Euthanasia and many other issues involving death As human beings, we have a right to live and to not be killed by anyone else. They act like a stimulus to nationwide improvements for end of life care Christians Christians Islams Buddhists Buddhism Being in the right state of mind is an important factor. If a person asks to end their own life their state of mind has changed. Buddhists say that mediation and medication will help that person and not even allow them to contemplate ending their life. Buddhists also put a lot of emphasis on doing no harm to others. If you are assisting or ending someones life you are doing them great harm. Islam Allah created life and should only be ended by Allah, in the Koran they have explicit rules about no ending your life Destroy not yourselves. Surely Allah is ever merciful to you.Qur'an 4:29 When their time comes they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward by a single hour.
Qur'an 16:61 And no person can ever die except by Allah's leave and at an appointed term.
Qur'an 3:145 Arguments For and Against Voluntary Euthanasia FOR AGAINST Freedom of choice.
The ability to die with dignity.
Helps shorten the grief and suffering of the patients loved ones.
We put down beloved pets to end their suffering, so why should this kindness be denied to humans?
It is inhumane to prolong someones death. It can be seen as violating a doctors Hippocratic Oath, which could result in the loss of his/her medical license.
With constant advances in medical treatment, a patient could always recover.
The diagnosis could be wrong.
Slippery slope. If euthanasia with terminal patients is OK, then what's next. More Information on Dr. Jack Kevorkian The concept of euthanasia is nothing new, but Dr. Kevorkian could easily be seen as the "poster child" for the ethical dilemma involved with it. When people think euthanasia they often think Dr.Kevorkian because of his stand out efforts to legalize the act. It seems he was constantly walking a fine line between what is "stated" in the constitution under the Bill of Rights, and what it written as "fine print" law regarding murder, homicide and assisted homicide.
To some Kevorkian comes off as a rationale person who was only doing this deed because the government turned a blind eye on the issue. Also, it's possible that he assisted in killing these people for the greater good of the patient and their families. However, it is believed that Dr. Kevorkian violated his rules and policy on numerous occasions, one that he publicly claimed to follow.
For example, Kevorkian said that those who qualify for his help suffer from illnesses that are incurable or cannot be treated without intolerable side effects. However, it was found that 17 of his patients could have lived indefinitely, and in 13 cases the patient had no complaints of pain. Also, autopsies of 3 of his patients revealed no disease at all.
Kevorkian also stated that after the patients final signing request, they must wait 24 hours before getting help to commit suicide. However, in 17 cases the patients first meeting with Kevorkian was also their last. In 5 of those cases less than 3 hours went by before the moment of death. And in one case the waiting period was only one hour. http://www.trinity.edu/mkearl/death02/euthan/Jack%20Kevorkian.htm
Pollock M, Joycelyn. "Criminal Law". Texas State University: Anderson Publishing, 2009.
https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=50588 The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient's last days by offering comfort and dignity. Donations to Hospice Foundation of America is a way of getting involved. Such donation could be made through
https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?Action=GC&CID=691 or send it to Hospice Foundation of America | 1710 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036 | 800 854-3402 | Compassion & choice
8 Easy Ways to Take Action Right Now
1. Contact your elected officials
2. Write your local news media
3. Learn about bills in your state
4. Sign up to receive action alerts
5. Support Compassion & Choices
6. Complete an advance directive
7. Talk to friends, family & doctors
8. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter Volunteer
Compassion & Choices could not happen without many dedicated volunteers. volunteers are welcome in the following areas:
•Referral Volunteers understand the organization well enough to confidently and comfortably speak out about the work we do in their communities.
•Outreach Volunteers help run grassroots efforts in states where there is a current movement to change end-of-life options.
•End-of-Life Volunteers provide hands-on service to clients who are dying or preparing for death. FOR VOLUNTEERS
There is an application and interview process
as well as specialized training for most volunteers. If any of these opportunities
interest you, or you would like to offer other assistance, please call the Volunteer Line
at 1-800-247-7421 , extension 2296. Advocate for euthanasia
Powerful advocacy starts with simply talking: Explain to your friends and neighbors why this issue matters. Speak to your doctor about the importance of proper options and care at the end of life. And of course take the lead in making sure you and everyone you know fills out advance directives. Interesting in getting involved?
you want to participate? may be donate
or just want to learn a little more about
this, Contact the Connecticut Compassion
& Choices Campaign Manager Tim Appleton at (860) 922-1988 or contact , Roland Halpern, at 800.247.7421 to continue to advocate for the right of the terminally
ill to die with dignity.