Active Euthanasia Pros and Cons Essay

1640 Words 7 Pages
Euthanasia is a long debated topic, going back for decades in our country alone. Both sides of the topic have valid points morally and ethically. The Netherlands have had euthanasia laws in effect since 1973. America has very few states with legislation on the books: Oregon enacted in 1997, Washington 2008. Germany experimented with Active Euthanasia in the 1930’s, resulting in one of the most horrendous genocides in the past millennium. No where else do we have a cohort more at risk than the elderly, as they fall prey to the pressures of getting out of the way, and with a burgeoning population of baby boomers now becoming the elderly our system already strained now faces even more pressure. Even though there is a
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Involuntary euthanasia: Euthanasia committed against ones wishes, mercy killings, Still considered to be murder.
Passive euthanasia: Withdrawal of medical equipment that is keeping the patient alive.
Physician assisted suicide: (PAS) when a doctor provides a lethal dose of medicine to a patient and the patient uses it on their own.
The most active opponents against euthanasia would be religious groups, citing the sanctity of life. They believe it goes against the sixth commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ Bible, Exodus.
One of the first to condemn suicide was St .Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Declaring that, it was a mortal sin contrary to natural law. Saying also that it was damaging to the community, and a symbol of man involving himself in what is a divine decision. (Renee, Rebman.(2001) The Catholic Church actively condemns suicide. The Islamic religion, Greek Orthodox Church, Hindus, Jewish and other various religious groups also denounce euthanasia. More specifically active euthanasia, Passive euthanasia is sometimes accepted.
The Ethical Dilemma: Can we really justify taking a life even if it is relieving suffering? The laws in most countries are clear on this issue. To kill a patient even with the intent to relieve suffering is homicide. Currently the Netherlands and Belgium are the only countries that currently have legalized active euthanasia. ( Oct, 26, 2005). Switzerland has legalized
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