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"Make animal testing illegal! Give evil scientists 30 yrs of prison for their torture experiments!" - Muhammad Ali

Right to Die

  • Date Submitted: 05/26/2014 05:45 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.2 
  • Words: 819
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The very concept of individual rights is always complex, and even more so in the case of the right to die. While the Patient Self Determination Act ensures the patient the right to stop treatment, there is a serious moral and ethical question involved with whether the individual has the right to entangle the lives and careers of others in what they perceive to be the right to die.   The controversy last year over whether to withdraw a feeding tube from a thirty-nine-year-old Florida woman with severe brain damage has forced questions regarding end-of-life decisions into the limelight once again. That debate had been intensified by divergent opinions about the woman's possibility of rehabilitation and by doubts raised about her husband's motivation in wishing not to prolong her life.   The complexities of that case, however, should not be allowed to bias public response to a somewhat different but no less urgent ethical question: What is the most humane way to treat individuals who, at the end of a long life, express a clear-minded wish to die?   In this case, the husband expressed that his wife would not want to be artificially sustained, however the patient’s family pursued legal avenues to keep her alive.   The battle involved the courts, the Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush. Terry Schiavo died on March 31, 2005 at the Pinellas Park hospice where she lay for years while her husband and her parents fought over her fate in the nation's most bitter - and most heavily litigated - right-to-die dispute.   This case reaffirmed my advocacy for everyone to have a Health Care Proxy in place.
There was a time when patients and their families left every aspect of their health care in the hands of their physicians with faith that was near to their faith in God. At the beginning of the 21st century, medical technology has so far outstripped the norms of society that the end of life is no longer certain, nor is the quality of the end of a life, if and when it does occur....


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