Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

3099 Words12 Pages
Finding common ground on questions like euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) will never be possible, given the strong religious convictions that many Christians, Jews and Muslims have always had against any form of self-destruction. For them, suicide is a sin and killing is always wrong, except of course in wartime situations or when the state has to use force in policing and maintaining order. Their views are based on the Bible or other sacred writings as well as strongly-held religious traditions and convictions, and therefore are not going to change quickly or easily. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, assisted suicide is not a right, and it remains illegal in most states. Liberal Oregon is one exception to this rule, and even though its law permitting PAS was challenged in the courts for many years, in the end the Supreme Court did not forbid the states from passing such laws altogether. Poor quality care in hospitals and nursing homes at the end of life makes suicide appealing to many people, especially those with painful and lingering terminal illnesses which contemporary medicine cannot cure. Many states since already allow patients to refuse treatment in these situations, to die without having to endure extraordinary lifesaving measures, and to withhold food and water from comatose and brain dead patients. Over the last thirty years, the overall trend has been increasingly liberal or libertarian in allowing individuals greater freedom of choice over how
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