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 ...

Want to read the rest of this paper?
Join Essayworld today to view this entire essay
and over 50,000 other term papers

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 upheld the
Quinlan decision ...

Get instant access to over 50,000 essays.
Write better papers. Get better grades.

Already a member? Login

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 becomes less clear. Many of these states have a hard ...

Succeed in your coursework without stepping into a library.
Get access to a growing library of notes, book reports,
and research papers in 2 minutes or less.


The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?. (2008, December 12). Retrieved January 16, 2019, from
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?.", 12 Dec. 2008. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. <>
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?." December 12, 2008. Accessed January 16, 2019.
"The Case For Euthanasia: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?." December 12, 2008. Accessed January 16, 2019.
Join today and get instant access to this and 50,000+ other essays

Added: 12/12/2008 05:31:12 PM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1546
Pages: 6

Save | Report


Save and find your favorite essays easier

The Case For Euthanasia: Should...
Assisted Suicide
Physician Assisted Suicide
Physician Assisted Suicide
Physician Assisted Suicide Righ...
Legalizing Physician Assisted S...
Can Computers Think? The Case F...
The Case For The Existence Of G...
The Case for Torture
Copyright | Cancel | Contact Us

Copyright © 2019 Essayworld. All rights reserved