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EUTHANASIA

The act of euthanasia itself is illegal, yet in its passive form occurs on a
daily basis in many of our hospitals. Medical advances have made it possible
to artificially prolong the life of an increasing number of patients far beyond
what was possible only a few years ago. Furthermore, we must all contend
with the reality that financial constraints are an important consideration in
modern health care provision. Finally, there is an ethical difficulty in
interpreting the concept of a patient's right, or autonomy, versus the rights
and duty of a doctor. It is important to have some accurate definitions of
both euthanasia and of the concept of morality. According to the House of
Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, the precise definition of
euthanasia is "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express
intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". The term can be
further divided into voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. The former is
said to occur if a competent patient makes an informed request for a life
terminating event and the latter can be used if a patient does not give
informed and specific consent for such treatment. It is the occurrence of
involuntary euthanasia which forms one of the main arguments against
legalisation. This is discussed in greater detail below. Euthanasia is
frequently separated into active and passive forms. A number of authors
consider these terms to be misleading and unhelpful. They are, however,
used in the literature and in discussion and consequently should be
understood. Active euthanasia takes place if deliberate steps are taken to
end a patient's life; this would include administration of potassium
containing compounds to induce cardiac arrest, a practice that is illegal in
this country. Passive euthanasia is the withholding of treatments necessary
for the continuance of life. Whether the administration of increasingly
necessary, albeit toxic doses of opioid analgesia is regarded as active or
passive euthanasia is a matter of moral interpretation, but in order to pacify
doctors' consciences, it is usually regarded as a passive measure.

Many would argue that all life should be cherished no matter how big
or in significant they are. With that point being made patients who
consider euthanasia are throwing their valuable lives away.
Euthanasia is still the murder of a human being.
Ending the patients life is not a humane solution to tragic situations
of pain and suffering; the physicians duty is to always kill the pain
and not the patient, proposing euthanasia shows a lack of confidence
in the progress of medical science.

Nurses role is still provide safe, compassionate, competent and ethical


care until alternative care arrangement are in place to meet the
persons needs or desires then he is responsible to do so until that
time. (Canadian Nurses Association, 2008)
Loss of respect for the value of human life
Religious view that God can only choose when to end life.
Suffering is part of the human condition and part of lifes experiences,
also medications can be improved to help a persons quality of life and
make their deaths as humane as possible.
No right to die, whether at the hands of a third person or with the
assistance of a public authority could be derived.{{BBC Online News
British woman denied right to die (European Court of Human
Rights)

Natural Moral Law.


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Belief that there are certain moral laws/ norms that are true, come
from God, but also one doesnt need to believe in God to know that
certain moral precepts are genuine moral absolutes.

Definitions
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Euthanasia: (Greek) good death AKA mercy killing.


Active euthanasia: Intentional administration of lethal substances to
hasten death
Voluntary euthanasia: Euthanasia performed with informed consent
from a competent person or by instruction of an advance directive
Involuntary euthanasia: Euthanasia performed without consent
Physician-Assisted Suicide: A doctor assists another person to end his
or her life (e.g. prescription of lethal drugs)

Role Contradiction Hippocrates


The Hippocratic injunction first do no harm is a cornerstone of the
healthcare professionals duty of care, a duty which legalization of
euthanasia would overturn so that the patients life could be ended. The
importance of this paradigm shift in medical practice should not be
underestimated. It would require a new ethos in medicine.
Value of Life
The legalization of euthanasia and PAS makes an underlying assumption
that the worth of human life depends on features such as physical or mental
ability, rather than being valuable in itself.

Euthanasia complications
It is often assumed that all euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths are
peaceful and dignified. In a Dutch study, 3-16% of patients who had either
euthanasia or assisted suicide had complications such as failure of
completion, myoclonus, or vomiting.
(Grewal, Harrison, & Jeffrey, 2012)

Laws
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared that the
foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world is the recognition of
the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members
of the human family. Further, everyone has the right to life and all are
equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law.
1996 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6: Every
human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by
law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
A right to have ones life taken on request would conflict with, and
overturn, the principle of the criminal law in this as in every nation that
human life that presents no threat to another is inviolable, and that
protection for all innocent life against predation is necessary.
Autonomy refers to ones claim to have what one is entitled to, short of
infringing the valid rights of other individuals or of the community. Your
right to swing your fist ends as the tip of my nose American Philosopher
To accept requests for death at face value without providing adequate care
would be a form of patient abandonment, by taking advantage of their
vulnerability in such states. In doing so, their autonomy would be abused, in
the name of honoring it.
Sociologists at Flinders University in South Australia in 1994 published
survey results about the attitudes and practices of doctors and nurses
regarding euthanasia. The survey discover that on half the occasions
doctors admitted they had carried out euthanasia, there had been no patient
consent of request. It also uncovered the view of some of these

professionals, the acknowledged guardians of health and life, that poor


quality of life, mental disability and physical handicap should be sufficient
reasons for active euthanasia, whether or not this was requested. One of the
surveyors expressed her disquiet that the very arguments about human
rights used to promote euthanasia are in fact abused by its practice. She
concluded: There is a danger that legalization of active euthanasia,
voluntary or non-voluntary, may expand the potential for further abuses. I
consider legalization could undermine the value placed on human life, and
erode our sense of security. We need to ensure that the state continues to
protect people."
Euthanasia cannot be considered without reference to human rights, but all
relevant rights should be included. These will include the rights of every
person to their life and to the standards of health care appropriate to their
illness, and where the provision or quality of that care is demonstrably
uneven, to the right to distributive justice to protect the equal rights of all
the sick. No right should be included unless its existence has be validated
beyond question. It is not acceptable to want the law changed to uphold a
spurious right or even a genuine right that has been shown cannot be
protected.
(Pollard, 1998)
(Moreland)
The Principle of Nonmaleficence: One should refrain from inflicting
harm (or unduly risking the infliction of harm) on another. Nonmaleficence
requires me to refrain from doing something to someone.
The Principle of Life Preservation: We have a moral duty to protect and
preserve human life whenever possible. The burden of proof is always on
taking human life, not on sustaining it.
Narrow construal of euthanasia = If physician injects a patient with a
drug with the intent to kill the patient, that would be an act of euthanasia.
But if the physician allows the patient to die by withholding some
excessively burdensome treatment, that does not count as an example of
euthanasia.
Broad construal of euthanasia = Active euthanasia (killing) and passive
euthanasia (allowing to die) are both within the definition of euthanasia.

CON: "Activists often claim that laws against euthanasia and assisted
suicide are government mandated suffering. But this claim would be similar
to saying that laws against selling contaminated food are government
mandated starvation. Laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are in
place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and
others. They are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer."
-- Rita Marker, JD Executive Director
KathiHamlon Policy Analyst International Task Force on Euthanasia and
Assisted Suicide "Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Frequently Asked
Questions," www.internationaltaskforce.org Jan. 2010

CON: "The prohibition against killing patients... stands as the first promise
of self-restraint sworn to in the Hippocratic Oath, as medicine's primary
taboo: 'I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I
make a suggestion to this effect'... In forswearing the giving of poison when
asked for it, the Hippocratic physician rejects the view that the patient's
choice for death can make killing him right. For the physician, at least,
human life in living bodies commands respect and reverence--by its very
nature. As its respectability does not depend upon human agreement or
patient consent, revocation of one's consent to live does not deprive one's
living body of respectability. The deepest ethical principle restraining the
physician's power is not the autonomy or freedom of the patient; neither is
it his own compassion or good intention. Rather, it is the dignity and
mysterious power of human life itself, and therefore, also what the Oath
calls the purity and holiness of life and art to which he has sworn devotion."
-- Leon Kass, MD, PhD Addie Clark Harding Professor, Committee on Social
Thought and the College, University of Chicago "Neither for Love nor
Money," Public Interest Winter 1989

CON: "Studies show that hospice-style palliative care 'is virtually unknown
in the Netherlands [where euthanasia is legal].' There are very few hospice
facilities, very little in the way of organized hospice activity, and few
specialists in palliative care, although some efforts are now under way to try

and jump-start the hospice movement in that country... The widespread


availability of euthanasia in the Netherlands may be another reason for the
stunted growth of the Dutch hospice movement. As one Dutch doctor is
reported to have said, 'Why should I worry about palliation when I have
euthanasia?'"

Legislation of euthanasia and Physician- assisted Suicide makes an


underlying assumption that the worth of human life depends on
features soon as physical or mental ability rather than being valuable
on itself.
Double effect.
Assumption that patients should have a sight to die would impose a
doctors a duty to kill( restricting doctors autonomy and right to die
for some people might well become duty to die by others,
particularly those who are vulnerable or dependent on others.
Right to have ones life taken away directly conflicts with the genuine
right to ones life

Right to have ones life taken on request world conflicts with and over turn,
the principle of criminal law that human life that presents no threat to
another is inviolable and that protection for all innocent life against
predation is necessary.
The Encyclopedia of American Law categorizes mercy killing as a class of
criminal homicide. Judicially, not all homicide is illegal. Killing is seen as
excusable when used as a criminal punishment, but inexcusable when
carried out for any other reason. In most nations, euthanasia is considered
criminal homicide: however, in the jurisdictions mentioned above, it is
placed on the other side of the table with criminal punishment.
Many arguments also hinge on religious beliefs. Many Christians believe
that taking a life, for any reason, is interfering with God's plan and is
comparable to murder. The most conservative of Christians are against even
passive euthanasia. Some religious people do take the other side of the
argument and believe that the drugs to end suffering early are God-given
and should be used.
In the most recent version of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church (2003),
all forms of suicide and euthanasia remain strictly prohibited, but questions
of moral culpability and eternal salvation are left open. Paragraphs 2280-83
of Article 5 (On the Fifth Commandment) address suicide:

2280: Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to
him. It is god who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to
accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our
souls. We are stewards, not owners of the life God has entrusted to us. It is
not ours to dispose of.
2291: Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to
preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of
self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties
of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we
continue to have obligations Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.
To understand the debate for and against euthanasia, one must first
understand the various forms that euthanasia can take; they include
passive, active, voluntary and involuntary.

Passive euthanasia is the withholding of respirators and other lifesustaining equipment, procedures, or treatment and is not typically
objected to or most religions.
Active euthanasia is intentionally causing the death of another
person through specific actions (Pregnant Pause, 2001). In the United
States, an individual has the right to create an Advanced Directive
that serves as the individual's voice if he or she becomes incapable of
making medical and treatment based decisions or to designate a
Medical Power of Attorney which is a person the individual trusts,
who is aware of the individual's wishes, to make the same decisions
he or she would in their stead should the individual be incapable of
making those decisions for him or herself. These obviously are only
viable options if they have been designated before the individual is in
need of them (International Task Force, 2009).
Voluntary euthanasia occurs when an individual has chosen and
requested for his or her life to be ended.
Non-voluntary euthanasia is when it has not been requested or
consented to.
Euthanasia by Omission, which is the intentional causation of death
by not providing the care necessary to sustain life; examples would
include not providing the shelter, food, and water an individual needs
to live (National Right to Life, n.d.)

Slippery slope
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No society that has officially endorsed voluntary suicide or euthanasia


has ever failed to move on to killing people without their consent.

REFERENCE:
De Beer, T., Gastmans, C., and Dierckx de Casterle, B. (2004). Involvement
of nurses in euthanasia: a review of literature. Journal of Medical Ethics,
30(5), 494-498. doi: 10.1136/ jme. 2003. 004028
Wesley J. Smith, JD Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics, Discovery
Institute Forced Exit 1997
Grewal, B., Harrison, J., & Jeffrey, D. (2012). Licensed to kill the impact of
legalising euthanasia and physician assisted suicide on the training of uk
medical students. Scottish Universities Medical Journal, 1(1), 6-13.
Retrieved from http://sumj.dundee.ac.uk/data/uploads/volume1/SUMJVol1p6-13.pdf
Pollard, B. (1998). Human rights and euthanasia. Retrieved from
http://www.bioethics.org.au/Resources/Online Articles/Other
Articles/Human rights and euthanasia.pdf
Moreland, J. P. (n.d.). The euthanasia debate: Understanding the issues.
Retrieved from http://www.equip.org/PDF/DE197-1.pdf
Canadian Nurses Association (2008). Providing nursing care at the end of
life.
Criminal code , R. S; C.C-46 (1985)
Orv Hetil., Vadsz G. (2010), Euthanasia an end of Life

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY


SCHOOL OF NURSING
LEVEL IV

STAND: AGAINST EUTHANASIA

SUBMITTED TO:

Mr. Don Leonardo Dacumos


Instructor

SUBMITTED BY:
Alcantara, Alexnder Gabriel
Bautista, Joana Paola
Macaludos, Elaine Fatima
Raoet, Mary Ann
Roca, Kattleya
October 10, 2014

EUTHANASIA
Greek: good health
Evolved to mean the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent
human being for his/ her alleged benefit.
a.k.a : physician- assisted suicide
: mercy killing

LIKELY HARMS

vs. LIKELY BENEFITS

Undermines the integrity of the


medical profession
Creates
psychological
anxiety/
distress
in
patient
from
the
possibility of euthanasia
Coercion
of
patients
to
use
euthanasia against their wishes
Psychological distress and harm to
the surviving family members of the

Resulting individual autonomy


Reducing
suffering

needless

pain

and

Providing psychological reassurance


to dying patients

patient.