Case Study: Active Euthanasia With Parental Consent

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Active Euthanasia With Parental Consent

Active euthanasia has been debated for at least the last twenty years and has even been accepted in some states as legal under certain parameters, yet exceptions have always been made for any individual who cannot give informed consent by reason of age or mental state. The laws as they are written specifically exclude children and people who are deemed unfit to make clear decisions, children because they are thought of as to mentally and emotionally inexperienced to make life or death decisions and any individual who is to mentally impaired to follow the protocol of the law because they cannot be said to be competent to do so. The Oregon Death with Dignity act is the first of its kind in the U.S. And is written in such a way that all ethical decisions should and must be made by the individual and not by proxy for legal and ethical reasons.

Physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia in general, is one of the most controversial issues in bioethics, as well as among the general public. The desire to end ones life because that life has become not worth living is not uncommon, and it is especially common among people who feel they have become a burden or are in so much pain or discomfort, and will never get better that this is all they have to look forward to. There are basically two types of euthanasia, active euthanasia is when someone makes an active effort to end another's life or their own, by taking drugs or giving drugs or denying some essential intervention. Passive euthanasia is when a person or group allows an individual to die by not feeding them or giving them essential medical life saving care. In many cases passive euthanasia is accepted, though it has also been debated as well. In the case study at hand one must look at the desire by medical professionals to fully explain the implications of a "no code" order to the parents of the dying child. Passive euthanasia may involve palliative only care, such as hospice care when and individual is given only comfort measure care but not life saving care. Yet, in this case the child seems to have been given more, i.e. "medical treatment was continued to the end." Suicide or physician-assisted suicide are the two most common ideas associated with active euthanasia. There are clear and concise arguments associated with both sides of the debate. Yet, both arguments exclude children as capable of the allowance of active euthanasia and the physicians in this case acted within the law to refuse this option to the parents of the child as while they were willing to allow a "no code" order they were not willing to actively participate in the hastening of the child's death.

Physician-assisted suicide is a natural response to the modern creation of a death denying society, reflective of the recent emphasis on the physician and his vast skill as a heroic model of intervention. Modern medicine is seen as having all the answers, and interventions that can save lives or extend them, yet it is also clear that with certain conditions they are as helpless as the parents in this case. While many argue that heroic measures sometimes go to far, allowing individuals to languish in pain and with really a very low level of quality of life, as the parents did in this case. The broader implications of this ethical case are those which must be considered. In a perfect world decisions regarding… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Active Euthanasia With Parental Consent.  (2009, June 24).  Retrieved August 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/case-study-active-euthanasia-parental/298574

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"Active Euthanasia With Parental Consent."  Essaytown.com.  June 24, 2009.  Accessed August 17, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/case-study-active-euthanasia-parental/298574.