The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?

Throughout the twentieth century, major scientific and medical
advances have greatly enhanced the life expectancy of the average person.
However, there are many instances where doctors can preserve life
artificially. In these cases where the patient suffers from a terminal
disease or remains in a "persistent vegetative state" or PVS from which
they cannot voice their wishes for continuation or termination of life, the
question becomes whether or not the patient has the freedom to choose
whether or not to prolong their life even though it may consist of pain and
suffering. In answer to this question, proponents of physician-assisted
suicide, most notably, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, are of the ...

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active and passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia involves the patient's
refusal of medical assistance. It involves the right to die which is
protected by the United States Constitution clauses of due process liberty
and the right to privacy (Fourteenth Amendment). The right to doctor-
assisted suicide, or active euthanasia, consists of, "...a patient's right
to authorize a physician to perform an act that intentionally results in
the patient's death, without the physician's being held civilly or
criminally liable for having caused the death" .
The "passive" form of euthanasia was first deemed legal by the New
Jersey State Supreme Court in 1976 In re Quinlan . In the Quinlan case,
the court allowed a competent patient to terminate the use of life-
sustaining medical machines to prolong life. Since New Jersey's decision,
all fifty states have enacted similar statutes which contain living will
provisions. However, although the United States Supreme Court ...

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Most states have developed their own laws to, more often than not,
make doctor-assisted suicide illegal. However, when a case comes to trial
it is usually dismissed either by the judge in a pretrial motion or by the
jury. For example, in at least three of the assisted suicides which Dr.
Kevorkian was involved in, all criminal charges were dismissed. So, the
laws have been created, but when it comes to convicting a doctor and
sending him to prison, in lieu of the circumstances, the law often breaks
down and the charges are dismissed or the doctor is acquitted.
In the case of the nineteen states which have not delineated the
criminality of doctor-assisted suicide, the issue ...

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The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?. (2007, October 9). Retrieved January 16, 2019, from
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?.", 9 Oct. 2007. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. <>
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?." October 9, 2007. Accessed January 16, 2019.
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?." October 9, 2007. Accessed January 16, 2019.
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Added: 10/9/2007 04:00:13 PM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1542
Pages: 6

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