Date: 17 feb, 2011. Euthanasia Pros and Cons. Euthanasia.

One of the biggest controversies of this decade is euthanasia. Euthanasia is ind ucing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful?(Henrick son and Martin 24). There are four types of euthanasia voluntary and direct, vol untary but indirect, direct but involuntary, and indirect and involuntary. Volun tary and direct euthanasia is chosen and carried out by the patient. Voluntary b ut indirect euthanasia is chosen in advance. Direct but involuntary euthanasia i s done for the patient without his or her request. Indirect and involuntary euth anasia occurs when a hospital decides that it is time to remove life support (Fl etcher 42-3). Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizat ions. It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Volunt ary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies. As time passed, religion increased, and life was viewed to be sacred. Euthanasia in any form was seen as wrong (Encarta 98). In this century there have been many groups formed that are for and against euth anasia. In 1935 the first group that was for the legalization of euthanasia was formed. It was called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and was started by a grou p of doctors in London (The Voluntary Euthanasia Society). The first society est ablished in the United States came shortly after in 1938. It was called the Heml ock Society and it now consists of more than 67,000 members. The purpose of this society is to support your decision to die and to offer support when you are re ady to die (Humphrey 186). This society also believes that a person must have be lieved in euthanasia for a certain amount of time before you can make the reques t for death (Humphrey 112). Euthanasia has been a large issue in the courts during this century. The first d octor was charged for performing euthanasia in1935. Harold Blazer was charged fo r the death of his daughter. His daughter was a victim of cerebral spinal mening itis. He killed her by placing a handkerchief soaked with chloroform over her fa ce until she died. He had taken care of her for thirty years. In his trial he wa s acquitted (Humphrey 191). The first doctor to be found guilty was Joseph Hassm an in 1986. He injected a lethal dose of Demerol into his mother-in-law by the r equest of her family. He was sentenced to two years probation, fined $10,000, an d ordered to perform 400 hours of community service (Humphrey 194). The most recent and most controversial euthanasia doctor is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He was first charged with first degree murder in December of 1990. He connected Janet Adkins, a member of the Hemlock Society, to his suicide machine which allo wed her to inject lethal drugs into her body at any time (Humphrey 195-96) . He has since then been present at the deaths of more than forty people (Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization). A number of legal considerations are involved in the issue of euthanasia. The st ate has the right to become very involved in euthanasia cases. The state can spe cify the number of individuals that must agree for euthanasia to be performed. T he state can specify how frequently someone can sign a euthanasia authorization. The state can also specify that only the individual can decide (Pahl 20). Living wills are also a big part in the legal aspects of euthanasia. A living wi ll can express a patient?s thoughts towards his future medical treatment (Horkan 70). Living wills are legal in forty states. They allow anyone capable of makin g decisions to tell the doctor beforehand that they do not wish to be put on lif

Euthanasia can be performed by lethal injection.e support (Encarta 98). vomiting. Many see this as cruelty due to its effects on the patient. Patients are allowed to choose passive euthanasi a but can not choose active euthanasia. and the removal of necessary medicines. It is legal to turn off a patient?s life support when the higher cen ters of the brain stop working. gas. dry skin. heart problems. As one can see there are many aspects and issues that make euth anasia controversial. . Passive euthanasia is when nothing is do ne to prevent death. One of the main forms of euthanasia is the process of withholding foo ds and fluids. depression. Active euthanasia is when one deliberately causes death (En carta 98). the withholding of food and fluids. the removal of life sup port equipment. It ca uses nausea. and shortness in br eath (Harris 5). The medical methods and effects have a large impact on how people view euthanasi a.

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