Euthanasia Debate

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Date Submitted: 05/21/2010 01:04 PM

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Euthanasia: A Debate on Health Care Ethical and Legal Issues

Sue Fleckenstein

Leah Garcia-Macias

Rhonda Hammer

Yma-Richel Nabong

Brady Standifird

HCS 578

May 17, 2010

Victor Gibb

The debate regarding the practice and the legalization of active voluntary euthanasia has been ongoing for many years. The following outlines the main arguments for and against euthanasia and an attempt will be made to critically analyze the competing arguments to determine whether or not active voluntary euthanasia should be legalized.

Opening Statements

Proponents Statement

Euthanasia by definition is painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease (Oxford American dictionary). The ethical principles that guide practices in dealing with the terminally ill are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, patient/client rights, disclosure, religious freedom, subsidiarity, toleration and proportional and disproportional means (Ascension Health, 2009). These ethical principles support a patient’s right and the rights of designated surrogates to choose euthanasia as a means of ending suffering. The right to choose euthanasia as a means to end suffering and preserving dignity, exercises ones civil virtues and liberties that should be granted to citizens of the United States.

Opponents Statement

The act of euthanasia, whether active or passive is unethical and morally wrong. Euthanasia is dangerous, placing vulnerable people at risk of euthanasia being available for people who are not “terminally ill.” When the prohibition against taking life is lifted and death becomes a choice, then this liberty will not be limited to the terminally ill. Factors such as health care cost containment, caregiver convenience, and economic priority can intrude into the decision-making process.

Debate Questions


Question #1: Why do you consider euthanasia...