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Should euthanasia be legal? Show more Show less
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Ethical aspects of euthanasia (Greek for "good death"), a physician-assisted suicide of a patient with a goal of ending the suffering from a terminal or incurable illness, were debated since the times of Hippocrates. Since then, although modern medicine made a great deal of progress, euthanasia and its validity as a medical practice still leads to controversies. Should a patient in great suffering be able to end his life with the help of a doctor?

No, euthanasia should be illegal Show more Show less

There is no ethical or medical justification for legalizing euthanasia.
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Doctors should use anesthetics to alleviate suffering

Doctor first and foremost should administer anesthetics to patient’s system to alleviate his suffering, instead of an outright euthanasia.
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Context

The practice of euthanasia is often linked or put in opposition to palliative care as both concern themselves with the well-being of terminally ill patients. There is no consensus in the hospice community on the legalization of euthanasia.

The Argument

Euthanasia cannot be undone. If the main reason for the legalization of euthanasia is alleviating the pain of a terminally ill patient, then the administration of opiates or other pharmacological measures aimed at minimizing suffering reach that goal. There’s no justification for ending a patient’s life. Administration of anesthetic is always preferable to euthanasia since it doesn't create ethical dilemmas, doesn't put a responsibility of deciding in matters of life and death on physicians, and keeps the possibility of recovery open.

Counter arguments

There are diseases and conditions for which palliative care is not a viable alternative. Palliative care cannot stop some patients from experiencing constant vomiting, breathlessness or paralyzation. Palliative care also does not resolve the issue of patients' dependency on others.

Premises

[P1] The goal of the euthanasia is alleviating the pain of a terminally ill patient. [P2] Palliative care can reach that goal without ending a patient's life. [P3] Therefore, the palliative care is always preferable to euthanasia.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Not all patients can be relieved from pain by palliative care.

References

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    This page was last edited on Monday, 3 Feb 2020 at 14:11 UTC

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