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Euthanasia - Sample Essay

  • Date Submitted: 05/25/2011 07:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.4 
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source: http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/law/legal-process/3.1.2.xml

Whether or not euthanasia is being practised in the community is no longer a topic of debate. Surveys of Australian doctors and nurses have established that requests by patients for a hastened death are commonplace and that compliance with them occurs in around half of these cases 1. At present, Euthanasia is hidden behind the notion of double effect, that is, that a doctor may legally administer drugs that he or she knows will hasten death if his or her primary intention is to alleviate the pain of the patient 2. This is a flawed notion in that it is almost impossible to disprove a doctor's assertion of what his or her primary intentions were. It lends itself to the abuse of doctors who seek to hasten the death of a patient without their consent, no matter how altruistic their intentions for doing so are.



It is completely undesirable for the death of a patient to be brought   about or hastened without their consent, and we must therefore change the way we view the issue of the legal-permissibility of euthanasia.   Our focus must no longer be on the intentions of the doctors making medical end-of-life decisions, but on whether the rational consent of the patient whose death is being hastened has been obtained. Active voluntary euthanasia has become accepted by the majority in the community and can no longer be branded as an immoral and illegal practice. Just as a there is a clear distinction between making love and rape, and between a gangster stabbing someone maliciously and a doctor making an incision during surgery, there is a clear difference between culpable murder and active voluntary euthanasia 3 (see below for definition.) In all three cases the consent of those involved "deprives the act of its anti-social character." 4



Euthanasia is often used as an umbrella term that lends itself to confusion. For clarity's sake it is important to distinguish between...

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