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Voluntary Assisted Euthanasia
The right to die, when to die, and how to die should be respected and honored just like all other human rights, although with a few restrictions. Importantly, this right should be given to people experiencing serious ailments that do not have any cure, or whose treatment would result in severe limitations and degradation in the patient’s quality of life. Consequently, this paper will evaluate on euthanasia, and particularly the voluntary form. Importantly, the paper will discuss the various types of euthanasia and give the reader important details on this subject.
One of the most contentious issues in medicine is on the right of patients to choose their death and the doctor’s role in facilitating such an event; a situation termed as euthanasia. From a moral perspective, euthanasia elicits debates on the freedom of patients to select the manner in which they wish to die. Importantly, questions are raised on the duty of medics in offering life supporting medication and ensuring patient recover. Basically, euthanasia is categorized into voluntary assisted, involuntary and nonvoluntary euthanasia.
Notably, voluntary assisted euthanasia is a condition where a competent patient makes a free decision and persistent request in dying (Brock W, Dan., 1992). Additionally, euthanasia is subdivided into active and passive method. Active euthanasia is a case where the doctor conducts operations that lead to the patient’s death. Conversely, passive euthanasia is a situation where the doctors withdraws medication, operation, or facilities that keep or extend a patient’s life. Importantly, Dax Cowart, a man whose right for voluntary euthanasia was violated sheds light on the pain and grief that individuals requesting for this procedure. “When I was in the hospital there were many reasons I wanted to refuse treatment, but one was overriding-the pain. The pain was excruciating, it was far beyond that I ever knew possible…” (Burt A. R., 1998). In light of this, it is right and justified to conduct this procedure in active euthanasia. Nonetheless, it is difficult to make the decision for inactive patients, such as the case of Terri Schiavo as shown by Franklin Spring Media Family 2009. Notably, it is difficult to determine with certainty these types of patient’s wish. As a result, the family and the doctors should meet and discuss on the most appropriate procedure.
Conclusively, euthanasia is a complex and emotional topic because of the significance that it has on the doctor, the patient and the society. Practically, it is difficult to determine what the patient wants, especially if he is in a vegetative state. Nonetheless, both the doctor and his/her family have a moral duty of ensuring that their actions are in the patient’s best interest.
Burt A. R. (1998). Confronting Death: Who Chooses? Who Controls? A Dialogue between Dax Cowart and Robert Burt, 706, 1-12.
Brock W. Dan. (1992). Voluntary active euthanasia. The Hastings Center Report (Vol. 22). JSTOR.
Franklin Spring Media Family. (2009, January 27). The Terri Schiavo Story. [YouTube]. Project: Report. Retrieved from