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Transcript of Euthanasia
somebody else must make the decision on their behalf the person who dies chose life but is killed anyway Active Passive death through an act somebody directly and deliberately causes a person's death death through an omission not directly taking the patient's life,
just allowing them to die Indirect providing treatment (usually to reduce pain) that has the side effect of speeding the patient's death no intent to kill Assisted Suicide when the person who is going to die needs help to kill themselves the patient asks for the help Oregon and Washington two verbal requests and one written request approved by two doctors patient must administer the lethal medication themselves Oregon passed in a 1994 citizen initiated referendum became law on October 27, 1997 Washington became law on March 5, 2009 Pros Right to Die Cons Costly Prolonging of Life Legalized Murder Government Involvement Suffering at the End of Life Hippocratic Oath Washington v. Glucksberg Gonzales v. Oregon voter approved 58% - 42% 1997 History: 1994, Oregon Death with Dignity Act passed, legalizing physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Dr. Harold Glucksberg, physician: assisted suicide was protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth amendment Washington state: ban against assisted suicide through the Natural Death Act of 1979 Attorney General John Ashcroft issued an Interpretive Rule on the Death with Dignity Act, stating it violated the Controlled Substances Act District Court ruled in favor of Glucksberg US Court of Appeals (Ninth circuit) overruled this decision Controlled Substance Act: A set of rules and guidelines to the production and consumption of drugs passed by the Federal Drug Administration. Taken to the US Supreme Court on January 8, 1997 Unanimous decision: assisted suicide is not protected by the Due Process Clause Ruling: First taken to the Oregon District Court, ruled against the interpretive rule
Ninth Court of Appeals affirmed the District Courts ruling
In a 6-3 decision, The United States Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals decision and upheld the Oregon Death with Dignity Act 3 countries that allow assisted suicide for non-terminally ill patients Belgium Switzerland the Netherlands 1941 2002 2002 Number of deaths by assisted suicide up 700% from 1998 to 2009 90% over 55 years old Women more often then men Cancer is the decisive factor for almost half of the cases Only 3% of cases from depression 25% increase in the number of deaths by assisted suicide from 2011 to 2012 2% of all deaths in Belgium 32% of the assisted deaths are done without request Suicide Tourism Regulated by the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act of 2002
Euthanasia requires suffering, the patient's compliance, and consideration of reasonable alternatives
Requires all cases of Euthanasia to be presented to a committee
Exempts patients under 12, and requires 12-16 year old's parental consent
In 2010, 4050 people were euthanized in the Netherlands The Sea Inside "Mar adentro" Ramon Sampedro Became paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 25 in 1968 after jumping into the sea from high up, misjudging the depth, and sustaining spinal injuries. Fought for his right to commit suicide, or assisted suicide in this case, in Spain. Though the court case went as high as the European Commission on Human Rights, no legal action was taken Through small doses of Potassium Cyanide, Ramon was able to commit suicide 29 years after the accident. No one person was acquitted due to the lack of evidence. Germany, France, and Britain Switzerland more than 278,000 ballots were cast 85% rejected the
suicide 78% rejected the
foreigners Baxter v. Montana 2009 The Suicide Tourist Craig Ewert, 59 diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) "Lou Gehrig's disease" Chicago Switzerland Dignitas Swiss organization that helps provide assisted suicide Robert Baxter, 76, Lymphocytic Leukemia: assisted suicide protected by Montana state constitution One True Thing Written by Anna Quindlen Studies the reasons for Passive Euthanasia Adopted into a movie: Meryl Streep plays the dying Kate Gulden, who is sick with Terminal Cancer. Her daughter, throughout the movie, implies that she will later save her mother through passive euthanasia. The Terri Schiavo Case First Judicial District Court, December 5, 2008: in favor of Baxter -Baxter dies Montana Supreme Court, December 31, 2009: 4-3 decision in favor of Baxter Overview: case appealed to the Supreme Court by the Montana Attorney General Terri Schiavo suffered from a cardiac arrest, suffocating the air passage to her brain, putting her into a persistent vegetative state Montana: there is no right to assisted suicide present in the state constitution Terri's husband sought to pull out her feeding tube by appealing to the Sixth Court of Appeals. Terri's parents disagreed. The Battle The Sixth Court of Appeals honored the husbands request to pull the feeding tube, only to be reinserted a few days later. Federal Governmental intervention followed, with President Bush signing legislation to keep her alive, the Palm Sunday Compromise. The compromise allowed the case to be taken to the federal courts. Criticisms of the bill include not having passed Senate prior to signing, and only being applicable to the Schiavo Case. Section 4. Individual dignity. The dignity of the human being is inviolable. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws. Neither the state nor any person, firm, corporation, or institution shall discriminate against any person in the exercise of his civil or political rights on account of race, color, sex, culture, social origin or condition, or political or religious ideas.
Section 10. Right of privacy. The right of individual privacy is essential to the well- being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest. -no evidence present in the state Constitution that that assisted suicide is against public policy The Federal Courts decided to uphold the Appellate Court's decision to Euthanize Terri. She died 15 years after being put into a vegetative state. There were 14 attempted appeals, 5 suits in federal courts, and 4 denials of certiorari. Terri Schiavo 1963- 2005 "There are many ways in which this case has been divvied up in public... But it is truly about that thing that defines free human beings: the right to self-determination instead of a one-size-fits-all approach in private matters, in those issues that take place in bedrooms and kitchens and hospices. It's a primal demand for a personal sense of control in the face of intrusive government, intrusive medicine and intrusive strangers who think holding a crucifix like a blunt instrument makes them righteous when it really only makes them sanctimonious..." -Anna Quindlen Hippocratic Oath founded in 1998 by Ludwig A. Minelli Basic moral guidelines that physicians live by "First, do no harm." Was the basis doctors live by, though comes into question during the Euthanasia debate March 2008: 840 deaths through Dignitas, 60% German
2010: over 1000 deaths through Dignitas 21%: patients do not have a terminal illness "weariness of life" Originally written by philosopher Hippocrates in late 5th century BC 4,000 euros = $5,230 Massachusetts "Death with Dignity" Initiative to legalize assisted suicide 2012 general election ballot 49% for 51% against Vermont: Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act May 13, 2013 legalized assisted suicide first assisted suicide measure to go through the legislative process Mark and Eddy Verbessem, 45, Belgium born deaf becoming blind feared not being able to communicate with each other no extreme pain and were not terminally ill turn down by their local hospital almost two years to find an institution where they could die December 14, 2012 2011 2007