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Research on Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia Research Paper

❶However, until the mids only a very small number of cases were reported.

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Euthanasia Research Paper Sample
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Introduction

Their reasons are for compassion and unity. Uniting together will bring strength and a prolonged life. One of their reasons is complications that can occur from usage. Panic, feelings of terror, and assaultive behavior can take place from the drug-induced confusion. Other problems can include difficulty in taking the drug and a number of days elapsing before death occurs. They believe that euthanasia is not giving the right to die but the right to kill.

There are other alternatives like Hospice which tries to make the patients remaining time comfortable, alleviating pains, and giving spiritual and emotional support. Jack Kevorkian, a 71 year old retired pathologist, is known to many as the patriarch of assisted suicide. He is currently serving a sentence of in a Michigan correctional facility for his involvement in helping at least people die from euthanasia.

He was charged for murder in both and when patients of his used a suicide machine he developed, and his medical licence was revoked. Both charges were later dropped though when state judges pointed out that there were no laws against assisted suicide in the state of Michigan.

He served some jail time when he refused to pay the bail after the judge raised it. He was released from jail though later that year when supporters posted the bail.

Between and , Kevorkian killed some thirty more patients, and is charged for murder three more times. He is acquitted for these cases as well. Kevorkian remains one of the most controversial physicians in America today. He has been hailed by some as a hero and by others, little more than a serial killer. I believe that the legalization of euthanasia would be a good thing for America. An individuals right to determine the time and manner of their death is more important than keeping a suffering person alive for the sake of preserving life.

I understand that the legalization of euthanasia will most likely lead to an excuse for many people who are not terminally to end their own lives.

But I do believe that an evaluation by a mental health professional for those suspected to have clinical depression or mental incompetence can help prevent most of this. Fourthly, euthanasia requires that the state and medical institutions determine whether a person should live. As a result, people with disabilities become second-class people, because their lives are less valuable than people without disabilities.

Parents of disabled children in Belgium are advised to expose children to euthanasia. Just as abortion justifies the killing of unborn children with Down syndrome and other abnormalities, euthanasia is used to kill already-born people, but less sophisticated than others. Fifthly, suicide with assistance erases borders. If someone has a mental illness and has the right to use a suicide hotline, which is funded by the government, there is a stumbling block what doctors should do.

The question is to deny a man from death or not. Then, it ups in the mind whether such pressure will be a violation of the new rights of citizens in a state where the government permits murder or not. After all, once they decided that the woman had the right to abort, people immediately began to blame those who tried to discourage women from abortion, in violation of their rights.

Eightly, suicide for assistance creates a new, fictitious right, the right to death. It undermines the right to life, which can not be abandoned, even voluntarily. The right to death is a legal absurdity.

Providing the state and courts with the right to legalize murder is an extremely dangerous step that has far-reaching consequences. Next to the facts, to provide medical professionals with the legal right to kill, even in limited circumstances, are unreasonable and dangerous. Using this right, people can hide medical negligence or ill treatment. Such precedents have already been in European countries, where euthanasia is legalized. The eleventh against proclaims that children can push their parents so that they take advantage of the new service.

Such cases were recorded in the United States and Europe. The twelfth fact explains that those who advocate the legalization of euthanasia ignore the fact that people may be under pressure and use this service for various reasons.

As a thirteenth against, there is a point that there is little discussion about how the final stage of euthanasia should be carried out. So-called precautionary measures have been illusory or ineffective in all jurisdictions where euthanasia is legalized. It is known that many feel great relief if their suicide attempt was unsuccessful, but anyone can not question the victims of euthanasia or regret their decision.

Moreover, suicide for assistance is based on a secular principle. After death, nothing is possible; suicide does not affect anything. It is very arrogant. If, as Christians believe and practically all of Western civilization up until recently , life after death exists, suicide is an act with enormous moral consequences.

Also, suicide for assistance as a moral issue has never been discussed, even on the periphery. The sixteenth against proclaims that abuse of euthanasia occurs wherever it is legal. For example, judges in the Netherlands have allowed some families to subject their elderly parents with dementia to euthanasia, despite the fact that the parents themselves have never asked for euthanasia and there was no weighty evidence that they wanted to die.

Nevertheless, the elderly person reflects and decides independently. What is more, their close people and relatives are trying to resist the choice of a person to commit suicide. It is worthy to note that older people are much better informed, more autonomous and self-confident than before and called for not underestimating the experience and qualifications of those who help to get out of life. Also, in countries, where legalization of euthanasia exists, the prices for this service increase.

In Belgium and the Netherlands every year, a huge number of people die as a result of euthanasia. The eighteenth against implies specialists in ethics insist that forced euthanasia or rather a murder for children should be legalized. In the Netherlands, this has already happened Jotkowitz, A B.

What is more, suicide for help and euthanasia devalue human life. After all, medical institutions are killing a suffering person as if a domestic animal was slaughtering. Euthanasia was also prohibited in Belgium at the time of the study, but a new law that allowed euthanasia under comparable circumstances as in the Netherlands had already been discussed in the Parliament Adams and Nys This was the first time that end-of-life decisions were studied in these countries, except for Belgium where in a similar study had been performed Deliens et al.

The response percentages were satisfactory: In all countries, physicians reported to have used drugs with the explicit intention to hasten the death of a patient euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, or ending of life without an explicit patient request. Ending of life without a patient request occurred more often than euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in all countries apart from the Netherlands.

Frequency of euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland in The proportion of non-treatment decisions also differed substantially between countries: Alleviation of pain and symptoms while taking into account or appreciating hastening of death as a possible side-effect happened more frequently and in comparable rates in all countries: These rates show that end-of-life decision-making with a possible or certain life-shortening effect is practiced everywhere in the studied West-European countries.

End-of-life decisions that are mainly a medical response to the suffering of patients, such as alleviation of pain and symptoms, are performed in rather similar frequencies. However, the frequency of end-of-life decisions that are to a large extent determined by cultural factors—such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and non-treatment decisions—varies much more between the countries.

Another striking finding of this study was that in countries where patients and relatives are more often involved in the decision-making at the end of life, the frequency of end-of-life decisions was higher, for example in the Netherlands.

Many terminally ill patients who are facing death are offered interventions that may prolong their lives but at the same time may diminish their quality of life, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation or nasal-gastric feeding tubes.

Discussion between patient, relatives and professional caregivers about whether or not to use such interventions may result in the recognition that quality of life is sometimes to be preferred over prolonging life at all costs. While initially we thought that the high response rates of the Dutch studies could probably be explained by the Dutch tradition of openness about the subject, our European study showed that quite large proportions of physicians in other countries were also willing to share their experiences.

Second, our research shows that end-of-life decision-making is a significant aspect of end-of-life care. In approximately 4 out of every 10 patients, death is preceded by a decision that possibly or certainly hastened their dying process.

Rather, it is also aimed at improving the quality of life of patients through the prevention and relief of their symptoms, sometimes to the extent that far-reaching decisions such as euthanasia are requested by the patient. Third, public control and transparency of the practice of euthanasia is to a large extent possible, at least in the Netherlands. The review and notification procedure has increasingly been accepted by physicians, which shows their trust in the system.

A last important lesson that can be learnt is that the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands did not result in a slippery slope for medical end-of-life practices.

Besides religious or principal-based arguments, the slippery slope argument is the mainstay of opponents of the legalization of euthanasia. Briefly, the argument states that: B is morally not acceptable; therefore, we must not allow A Griffiths et al.

Our studies show no evidence of a slippery slope. The frequency of ending of life without explicit patient request did not increase over the studied years. Also, there is no evidence for a higher frequency of euthanasia among the elderly, people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations Battin et al.

Some of the criteria for due care for euthanasia are formulated as open general concepts, because they have to be interpreted taking into account the specific circumstances of every new case. The best example of such an open concept is the condition that the patient should suffer unbearably. In the Chabot-case , the Court decided that suffering that has a non-somatic origin such as a severe and refractory depression can also be a justification for euthanasia; in the Brongersma-case this was further specified in the sense that suffering should originate from a medically classifiable disease, either somatic or psychiatric Griffiths et al.

Euthanasia is most often performed in cases of severe suffering due to physical disease and symptoms and severe function loss, for patients with a limited life expectancy Onwuteaka-Philipsen et al. In such cases there is usually little discussion about whether or not the suffering was unbearable. A previous study showed that a quarter of physicians who receive euthanasia requests find it problematic to assess the criteria of due care Buiting et al.

Problems are mostly related to the assessment of whether the patient suffered unbearably. To assess unbearability, physicians have to know how their patients experience the suffering, and there is no specific instrument to do so. What can be objectively determined is the underlying disease and the accompanying symptoms and loss of function.

Hence, what is still bearable for one person may be unbearable for another. Some claim this makes the unbearability of suffering something a physician can hardly assess and which should mainly be left to the judgment of the patient Beijk ; Buiting et al. Yet, the review committees argue that suffering should be at least partly open to objectification Regional Euthanasia Review Committees Consequently, it is likely that physicians may have different opinions about which suffering can count as a legitimate ground for euthanasia.

On the one hand, different opinions about when suffering becomes unbearable could be interpreted as problematic. From the perspective of a patient, it may partly be a matter of chance whether a request for euthanasia will be granted. However, it is likely that this problem mainly exists in boundary cases, which are a minority of the euthanasia cases in the Netherlands Onwuteaka-Philipsen et al. From this point of view, difficulties with interpreting whether suffering is unbearable and potential differences between physicians and patients are to be expected and are consistent with the legal system of euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Thus, although assessing when suffering becomes unbearable is highly personal and ultimately depends on the experience of the person who is suffering, fostering societal and professional discussion and case law can further stimulate the exploration of the legal and moral boundaries of unbearable suffering in the context of the euthanasia law.

Medical indications for continuous deep sedation are present when one or more untreatable or refractory symptoms are causing the patient unbearable suffering Verkerk et al. A second precondition for the use of continuous deep sedation is the expectation that death will ensue in the reasonably near future—that is, within one to two weeks Verkerk et al.

Studies in the Netherlands show that the estimated life shortening effect of continuous deep sedation is limited in most cases Rietjens et al.

As already described, the use of continuous deep sedation in the Netherlands was for the first time studied in and has increased from 5. An important reason for the increased use of continuous deep sedation in the Netherlands is probably the increased attention to its use: Another possible reason for the increased use of continuous deep sedation is that it may have increasingly been used as a relevant alternative to euthanasia Rietjens et al.

In the period —, the use of euthanasia decreased from 2. The increase of continuous deep sedation took place mostly in the subgroups in which euthanasia is most common: This suggests that continuous deep sedation may in some instances be a relevant alternative to euthanasia.

This raises the question whether continuous deep sedation may take away the need for euthanasia. The answer points to the similarities and differences between euthanasia and continuous deep sedation. The starting point of both practices is similar: Yet, there are marked differences Rietjens et al. Continuous deep sedation is most often used in the last week of life to relieve unbearable physical suffering. Euthanasia is in the majority of patients applied somewhat earlier in the disease process to relieve unbearable suffering that is often rooted in a perceived loss of dignity and independency, and pointless suffering.

Some consider control over the moment and time of dying of utmost importance, whereas others prefer to die in a deep sleep Rietjens et al. As such, euthanasia and continuous deep sedation are both relevant options to relieve unbearable suffering at the end of life. More research and debate is needed to monitor both practices, and to investigate how they can contribute to an optimal quality of dying. Currently, discussions about the legalization of euthanasia or assisted dying are also occurring in other countries, such as the UK Dyer , France Peretti-Watel et al.

There is no straightforward answer to this question. As described earlier, the Netherlands has several unique features that have contributed to the legalization of euthanasia, probably the most important one being several decades of debate about euthanasia rooted in society. The Dutch health care system has several attributes that shaped a context of safeguards in which the legalization of euthanasia could take place, such as the fact that virtually everyone is covered by health insurance.

Further, healthcare, including home care in case of chronic or terminal disease, is freely accessible and affordable to all. This gives no ground for the sometimes heard fear that euthanasia can be mis used in case of high costs of medical care. Also, the general structure of the Dutch health care system is quite unique, with the Dutch general practitioner as a core of primary care. Euthanasia is in the large majority of cases performed by general practitioners, who often know the patient for a long time, which might enable the physician to judge whether the patient fulfills the first three, patient-related, criteria of due care.

These factors suggest that exporting the Dutch legalization process to other countries is not straightforward. On the other hand, studies suggest that everywhere in the world, patients request for their life to be ended, also in countries where euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide are not legalized Meier et al. Furthermore, our European study showed that euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide or life ending without an explicit patient request are part of medical practice in every studied country van der Heide et al.

If a society wants to control and improve life-ending practices, insight into the frequency and the characteristics of such practices is a first requirement. Our studies show that conducting research on end-of-life decision-making can greatly improve such insight. To improve life-ending practices, it can be argued that some degree of legalization may be a first prerequisite Griffiths et al.

Of course, the specific situation of each country should be taken into account when considering the conditions under which legalization can be discussed van Delden and Battin Two decades of research on euthanasia in the Netherlands have resulted in clear insights into the frequency and characteristics of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands. No slippery slope seems to have resulted. Almost all unreported cases involve the use of opioids, and are not considered to be euthanasia by physicians.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

Published online Jul Rietjens , 1 Paul J. Onwuteaka-Philipsen , 2 Johannes J. Received Mar 9; Accepted May This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Two decades of research on euthanasia in the Netherlands have resulted into clear insights in the frequency and characteristics of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands. Introduction Many people have pronounced opinions about the acceptability of euthanasia and the circumstances in which it should or should not be allowed.

Terminology In the Netherlands, euthanasia has been defined since as the administration of drugs with the explicit intention to end life at the explicit request of a patient.

National Notification and Reporting Procedure for Euthanasia After the start of the debate on euthanasia, some physicians were willing to report euthanasia cases and thus be held accountable. They require a physician to assess that: Elements of Dutch Culture Related to Legalization of Euthanasia The legalization of euthanasia is often considered to be the result of three changes in society: Research on End-of-Life Decision-Making Background A unique feature of the process of legalizing euthanasia in the Netherlands was the position of systematic empirical research.

Methodology Death Certificate Study Nationwide frequencies and characteristics of end-of-life decisions were studied through death certificates studies in van der Maas et al. Open in a separate window. The Netherlands in a European Perspective The death certificate study of was simultaneously and with the same questionnaire performed in five other European countries:


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Euthanasia Facts, including graphs of data on people who attempted suicide, facts sheets, FAQs, debate points, books, videos etc. Statements By Medical Profession, including .

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Throughout this time many societies that were pro euthanasia began forming all over the world. In , the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in England was formed by Lord Moynihan and Dr Killick Millard. In , The Euthanasia Society of the United States of America was founded in New York City.

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Jul 28,  · Two decades of research on euthanasia in the Netherlands have resulted into clear insights in the frequency and characteristics of euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions in the Netherlands. Research on Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were without request or consent.

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Euthanasia Research Paper Sample Legalization of Euthanasia: Advantages and Disadvantages The intention to deliberately accelerate the death of an incurable patient, even to stop his suffering, has never been unambiguous. * Three classes of euthanasia can be identified -- passive euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia-- although not all groups would acknowledge them as valid terms." * What is physician-assisted suicide/physician aid in dying?