Should Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide Be Legalized in Canada?
Euthanasia, formally known as mercy killing, is the act of intentionally causing the painless death of a sick person, rather than allowing that person to die naturally. In terms of a physician's actions, it can be passive in that a physician plays no direct role in the death of the person or it can be active in that the physician does something directly to cause the death (Yount, 2002). Euthanasia may also be formed into three types of act, which are voluntary, involuntary, and nonvoluntary. Voluntary involves killing the patient at his or her request. Involuntary occurs when the patient does not give consent, or refuses. Nonvoluntary is where the patient is not able to make the decision about their medical treatment so it is up to a third
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Euthanasia will harm society as a whole because it would result in the deaths of people who truly do not want to die. People who are depressed or who have requested euthanasia only because a doctor or family members have told them they should. The right to die then begins to become the duty to die, and the duty to die quickly becomes the obligation to die. Life and death decisions in a financially strapped health care system will have little to do with the patient's wishes. The dying, the elderly sick, and disabled will be too expensive to support. Death will become the treatment of choice. If legalized euthanasia requires a physician's involvement, it will have profoundly damaging effects on the medical profession and society's confidence in doctors, by allowing doctors to act as executioners. This concerns the public because they might worry that if doctors have the power to kill patients, they might use it too freely. There is no need to kill the terminally ill, frail, vulnerable, and elderly. Adequate palliative care, which includes pain management, a caring supportive environment, and hospice care are surely the most non-violent and caring solution in a civilized society. There is always the possibility of a mistaken diagnosis, new cure, or remission. By hastening your death, you are not experiencing