End Of Life Issues: The Right To Die

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End of Life Issues: The Right to Die By Michael Toliver PSY 357 Grand Canyon University April 23, 2011 End of Life Issues: The Right to Die In this paper, the student is asked to discuss what rights an individual has in regards to euthanasia, which includes both the active vs. passive types. The paper focuses around the different ethical issues, the writer’s opinion, and the laws of the state where he lives. Some of the main points come from theorists like Emanuel, Rachels, and the Bible. The researcher found that there is much controversy regarding euthanasia among the different states as well as individuals. To begin with, for several years there has been much controversy surrounding both the legal rights of a person, and the public attitude towards euthanasia. (Emanuel, 2002) However, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling in 1997, that there would not be either a constitutional right for or against euthanasia or “Physician-Assisted Suicide”. (Emanuel, 2002) Therefore, it is up to each of the states to pass the laws that would approve euthanasia, or disallow it, and each individual must look into their own heart and make a decision in regards to their ethical foundation and the beliefs of their life. Interestingly enough, the word euthanasia comes from the Greek word euthanatos, from eu- + thanatos, which means easy death or well death. (Merriam-Webster, 2011) Accordingly, there are two different types of euthanasia, the first is active, and the second is passive, however the outcomes of the two types are the same. In active euthanasia, it would mean that death is accelerated by some method such as drugs, and the drugs could be administered either by a doctor or by the person themselves. (MedicineNet, 2011) In passive euthanasia, means to allow a person to die though the actions or omissions of another person (e.g. doctor) this could be

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