Argumentative Paper Euthanasia

2132 WordsMar 18, 20119 Pages
Should Euthanasia be legalized? Because of remarkable advances in medical technology pharmacology that can artificially prolong a patient’s life, the field of medical ethics has been confronted with a new controversy: the legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. The word Euthanasia comes from the Greek word for “eus” which means godly or well, and “thanathos” which literally means death (F.A. Davis Company, 2001, p. 476). Before its contemporary use, the word euthanasia meant a peaceful, quiet way to depart from earth. However, in modern times, this concept has sparked an incredible controversy. Today, the word euthanasia also commonly, but wrongfully, used for the practices of physician-assisted suicide (PAS).…show more content…
Literally the oath reads “…that I will exercise my art solely for the cure of my patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggested” (North, 2002). In addition, they assert, that euthanasia and PAS violates their principals of nonmaleficence (the belief of not inflicting harm on an individual) (Beauchamp & Childress, 1989, p. 194) and beneficence (positive acts of preventing harm, removing harm, and promoting good) (1989, p. 121). Additionally they claim that such crucial end of life decisions can be reduced by proper and suitable palliative care, and efficient pharmaceutical pain management (Hendin, 2004, p. 9). Opponents of euthanasia and PAS also maintain that the sanctity of life overrules the right to personal freedom and choice. Religion and cultural background play a major role in those attitudes. Some claim that “the concept that an individual has a right to die is rejected on the basis that death is inevitability, not a right” (Ledger, 2007, p. 81). Others quote the six commandment of the Christian faith that states “thou shall not kill (murder)” (Exodus 20:6). Christians believe that human life is sacred. The Catechism of the Catholic Church number 2281 denounces the act of suicide as a contradiction to “the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life” (Catholic Online, 2008). In

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