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One step down the path toward euthanasia simply makes it thatmuch easier in the future to take further steps. This argumentis also referred to as the "wedge theory" or the "slipperyslope." One of the most outspoken opponents of euthanasia,University of Michigan professor of law Yale Kamisar, has articulateda three pronged attack that utilizes the wedge theory, the riskof abuse, and the risk of mistake. The proponents of the wedgetheory argue that

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This argument says that euthanasia is bad because of the sanctity of human life.

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Because of the changes that have impacted death, with regardto both how and where we die, the debate about how we should beallowed to die has been renewed. This paper will examine the severalfacets of this debate. It will define the terms that are relevantto the debate, examine the legal state of euthanasia today, discussthe ethics of euthanasia by examining arguments made by proponentsand opponents of euthanasia, and by applying several NormativeEthical Theories to the issue. Finally, it will explore the powerimplications that infuse the debate on euthanasia and presentarguments in favor of moving toward a care based ethic of dyingand away from the current rights based ethic.

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Supporters of euthanasia say these are good reasons to make sure the euthanasia process will not be rushed, and agree that a well-designed system for euthanasia will have to take all these points into account. They say that most of these problems can be identified by assessing the patient properly, and, if necessary, the system should discriminate against the opinions of people who are particularly vulnerable.

My argument over this topic is that euthanasia should have strict criteria over the use of it....

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The movement to legalize active euthanasia has existed forquite some time. Initially popularized in Britain during the 19thcentury, it gained some adherents in the United States duringthe 1920's. It was the Nazi program of active euthanasia in the1930's and 40's that cast a pall of disrepute over the practicethat remains today. The revival of this movement today can largelybe attributed to the onset of the issues discussed at the beginningof this paper, and to the efforts of the Hemlock Society, a groupof individuals that actively promotes the right to "dignifieddeath." The Hemlock Society recently promoted ballot initiativesin both Washington and California that would have legalized activeeuthanasia in those states (Gifford, 1993). This revival of the"right to die" movement has led to hotly contested debateabout the practices of active euthanasia and physician assistedsuicide. This paper will attempt to encapsulate this debate bypresenting the arguments made by both opponents and supportersof these procedures. Since arguments made by both sides are usedin cases of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the generic term"euthanasia" is used for simplicity to suggest the conceptof "aided death" unless otherwise indicated. Those opposedto euthanasia and assisted suicide present a variety of argumentsin support of a ban.

BBC - Ethics - Euthanasia: Anti-euthanasia arguments

Once euthanasia becomes legal, opponents contend, the potentialfor abuse at the hands of caregivers vastly increases. Closelyrelated to this argument is the argument that those who enjoythe exercise of power over others might become intoxicated withit and actually come to enjoy killing.

Argumentative Essay on Euthanasia

They can quite reasonably argue that the purpose of the Suicide Act is not to allow euthanasia, and support this argument by pointing out that the Act makes it a crime to help someone commit suicide. This is true, but that provision is really there to make it impossible to escape a murder charge by dressing the crime up as an assisted suicide.

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The next prominent case was decided by the New York SupremeCourt in Superintendent of Belchertown State School v. Saikewicz.Here the court found that a competent patient had the right torefuse medical treatment, allowing for a patient to decide incases of voluntary passive euthanasia (Gifford, p. 1575-76). Later,in Satz v. Perlmutter, a Florida District Court of Appealscame to essentially the same conclusion (Wolhandler, p. 372-73).

A Case For Euthanasia Essay Sample | Custom essay

A brief assessment of the cases described above indicates thatthe courts have essentially legalized voluntary passive euthanasia,finding justification to refuse or have medical treatment withheldin the constitutional right to privacy, the common law right ofself determination, or the more general concept of autonomy (Gifford,p. 1575-78). With regard to involuntary passive euthanasia, thecourts are generally supportive of the practice, but they havethe right to insist on a more stringent standard of evidence beforeapproving such procedures. The courts have generally employeda balancing test that weighs the patient's right to privacy andself determination against the interest of the state in preservinglife, the interests of potential third parties that might desirethat the patient continue to live, and the ethical image of themedical profession (Adams, et. al., p. 2022). In cases of assistedsuicide, some states have laws against the practice, the AMA forbidsit, most juries are refusing to find the actors guilty, and thecourts have yet to decide the question. Both voluntary and involuntaryactive euthanasia remain illegal.