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Euthanasia

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{{Orthodoxize}}{{cleanup|Needs a thorough revision, including opening definition}}'''Euthanasia''' refers to the act of intentionally ending the life of one who is when those suffering from a terminal disease who suffer from painful diseases has expressed the wish to kill themselves, perhaps with the assistance of a doctorbe assisted to die in order to avoid what is seen to be as unecessary and unbearable suffering. The term literally means "good death" (εὖ + Θάνατος). Thus it It is sometimes called ''assisted suicide'' or, very often in recent times, it has been (euphemistically) called "dying with dignity."Likewise when a doctor removes treatment, for the purpose of death this too falls under the definition of euthanasia.
==The issue== For the medical community, this issue brings up complicated tough ethical problems. For example, does an individual Does a person have the right to choose death as an option? Euthanasia also raises the question idea of whether or not a doctor should participate in such a practice. These are very difficult issues to face, but ones that must be confronted when dealing with euthanasia.
A person must first realize that euthanasia is a subject that is not easily defined. The origin of the word "euthanasia" comes derives from two ancient Greek terms meaning "good death." The following shows us the that there are three ways in categories to which euthanasia can be performed: #By an affirmative act designed to bring about death, such as the injection of air into a person’s veins; #By refusing to commence or continue further medical treatment required to maintain life; #By refusing to commence or continue further "heroic" or "extraordinary" measures, such as the use of a heart-lung machine following a massive stroke. The first two instances are commonly referred to as ''euthanasia by action'' and ''euthanasia by omission''. Euthanasia is not a black-and-white issue, and the ethical concerns are even more complicated. As euthanasia has become more prevalent, the medical community has had to adjust its understandingclassified.
:"(1) by an affirmative act designed to bring about death, such as the injection of air into a person's veins; :(2) by refusing to commence or continue further medical treatment required to maintain life; :(3) by refusing to commence or continue further, 'heroic' or 'extraordinary' measures, such as the use of a heart-lung machine following a massive stroke."{{citation}} These definitions can in term be labeled further as being either euthanasia by action or euthanasia by omission. Euthanasia is not a black-and-white issue and the ethical concerns are even more complicated. As euthanasia has become a more apparent concern the medical community has had to adjust its understanding. On the surface, euthanasia is a conflict to any physician. A doctor is theoretically obligated to prolong life, not to end it.
"For doctors, this dilemma challenges the Hippocratic Oath which commits them to increasingly incompatible duties-to preserve life and relive suffering. This conflict of conscience is steadily magnified by the swelling numbers of elderly people. In these circumstances, many people fear the prospect of senility far more than they fear death."{{citation}}
Yet , the argument could be made that a physician is in fact helping another person by assisting in their death. They are relieving the pain of the suffering person. Perhaps this willingness to remedy pain by any means possible is too apparent in this day and age. Suffering and pain are negative realities of the world we live in. Yet, perhaps from an ethical perspective we should see our individual suffering as the cross we must bear. When studying the topic of euthanasia, one needs to wonder whether or not people are seeking a short answer for an ongoing a long on going problem. Thus , the medical community should needs to look for further cures, and likewise people should be willing to see their illness a problem through.
Naturally, such a the topic of euthanasia has raised caused controversy from a religious perspective as well. Christian people see a basic good value in human life and wish to do anything that will preserve life. "Christianity affirms what mankind has said about the inherent value and dignity of human life. It affirms man's basic unity and his living-in-this-world for God and for others, although he has a destiny beyond this world,." according to [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] opinion.{{citation}} The previous statement is one that expresses a Roman Catholic opinion. Yet the same thought is common to all Christians. A very similar opinion is expressed by the Orthodox Church:.  :"The Church accompanies its faithful from even before birth, through all the steps of life to death and beyond, with its [[prayer]]sprayers, rites, [[sacrament]]ssacraments, preaching, teaching, and its love, faith and hope. All of life, and even death itself, are drawn into the realm of the life of the Church. Death is seen as evil in itself, and symbolic of all those forces which , oppose God-given life and its fulfillment. The Orthodox Church has a very strong pro-life stand which in part expresses itself in opposition to doctrinaire advocacy of euthanasia." ([http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7101.asp ''The Stand of the Orthodox Church on Controversial Issues''] by Fr. [[Stanley Harakas]]).{{citation}}
The Orthodox Church understands life as a gift from God and that this gift must be valued.
There are many reasons to which traditional Christianity teaches opposition to euthanasia. Euthanasia is act wrong from the Orthodox Christian ethical perspective. According to the teachings of killing the Orthodox Church, life must be preserved because it seeks to end lifeis something that has been given by God. Killing is clearly prohibited in [[Holy Scripture]]: "Whoever sheds the blood of manSimilarly, by man his blood human life should be shed always treated with respect for God humanity was made man in his the imageand likeness of God." ([[Genesis]] 9:6). This means These are ideas that life is good and that we should not try are often forgotten as people wish to end it because of any amount of painremove their suffering in the most extreme manner.
In pro-There are many reasons to which traditional Christianity teaches opposition to euthanasia ideology, the practice . Euthanasia is understood as a means act of removing pain. If pain and suffering are understood as being bad, then euthanasia must be goodkilling because it seeks to end life. "Pain, suffering, and evil in general, thus all reveal a certain lack Whoever sheds the blood of beingman, a certain negativity which threatens by man's being-in-the-world. It forces his blood be shed for God made man to consider himself, to reflect on his mode of being in this world and to contemplate the sorrow of his contingencyimage."{{citation}} To use the modern terminology, this is referring to quality of life([[Genesis]] 9:6). Supporters of euthanasia feel This means that if their quality of life is infringed upon, they have the right good and that we should not try to end their life and it due to die as they chooseany amount of pain.
The advances in medical technology also play an interesting part in From the drama position of those who favor euthanasia. The greater modern advances become, the greater opportunity there practice is to prolong lifeunderstood as a means of removing pain. If pain and suffering are understood as being bad then euthanasia must be good. "Not long agoPain, suffering, when the point and evil in general, thus all reveal a certain lack of death was reachedbeing, there was usually nothing that could be done about ita certain negativity which threatens man's being-in-the-world. NowIt forces man to consider himself, due to the marvels reflect on his mode of medicine, all kinds of things can help keep people 'alive' long after what used being in this world and to be contemplate the final crisis. For example, there is a cardiac 'pacemaker,' a machine that can restart a heart that a stopped beatingsorrow of his contingency."{{citation}} This brings To use the issue modern terminology, this is referring to the forefront quality of whether or not it is right to prolong a life simply by medical advancements. The opposition Supporters of euthanasia feel that if their quality of life is put forth to this argument is as follows: should not we allow a person infringed upon they have the right to die when it is end their time life and not to prolong their life extensively? Subsequently, is a physician murdering in the strictest sense if he was to withhold the treatment? die as they choose.
According to one The advances in medical technology also plays an interesting part in the drama of euthanasia proponent, ". The religious person's concern greater that ending one's life the modern advances are becoming the greater opportunity there is playing God may seem to be predicated on prolong life. "Not long ago, when the indefensible assumption point of death was reached, there was usually nothing that respecting could be done about it. Now, due to the natural ordering marvels of medicine, all kinds of events is respecting things can help keep people 'alive' long after what used to be the divine ordering of eventsfinal crisis. According to this view, letting nature have its way For example there is interpreted as letting God have his waya cardiac 'pacemaker' a machine that can restart a heart that a stopped beating."{{citation}} This is rather difficult, as one can see. According brings the issue to Church teaching, it is murder. The doctor who has a method the forefront of treatment available and does whether or not administer it instead allows the patient to die. Life is extremely important, and we must exhaust every possible alternative in order right to prolong an individual's a lifesimply by medical advancements.
The opposition that is put forth to this argument is as follows; should not we allow a person to die when it is their time and not to prolong their life extensively? Subsequently, is a physician murdering in the strictest sense if he was to withhold the treatment? "The religious person's concern that ending one's life is playing God may seem to be predicated on the indefensible assumption that respecting the natural ordering of events is respecting the divine ordering of events. According to this view, letting nature have its way is interpreted as letting God have his way."{{citation}} This is rather difficult as one can see. From the definition of the church's teaching it is murder. The doctor had a method of treatment available and did not administer it instead allows the patient to die. Life is extremely important and we must exhaust every possible alternative in order to prolong an individual's life. The issue of euthanasia in recent years has seen intense legal debates as well. In 1994 , the state of Oregon passed a law making euthanasia legal. According to this law, if an individual has been diagnosed with a terminal condition, he has they have the option of requesting to request a prescription for of a lethal injection. His The doctor is legally freed from any liability. In October of 2005 , the law went before the U.S. Supreme Courtdue to intense opposition. However, on [[January 17]], 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision in favor of the state of Oregon's decision in a 6-to-3 vote. Legalizing euthanasia is something that presents yet another complication for a new era in the medical world. Besides Oregon, euthanasia is legal as a practice to be performed in Holland and Belgium.
==Living wills==
Part of the legal ramifications include having a living will. A living will is a contract made while a person is still living. It is a document that verifies the intentions of the person in the event of debilitating injury or illness. It is usually accompanied by a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a contract in which someone is selected to make life and death decisions should the person be unable to. Most More often, people delegate this the responsibility to a family member.
==Examples in the media==
In 2005 , the case of Terri Schiavo made headlines. This was the case of a woman who suffered brain damage and had been was since 1990 was in a lifeless state since 1990. Her husband had petitioned the been petitioning courts to allow him to remove her feeding tube. Finally, in March of 2005, the court sided in the husband's his favor, and Schiavo she died shortly after.
There is also the infamous , Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has helped numerous assisted many patients diein their death. In one Kevorkian has in an eight-year-period, Kevorkian has assisted in the deaths of approximately 100 such personshelped over one hundred people to die by administering different procedures. Very often, the person who wished to die was killed by being connected up to a machine containing a that had canister of carbon monoxide. Kevorkian also is known to have injected lethal drugs as well.
Both of these particular cases, of Terri Schiavo and Dr. Kevorkian, were had highly controversial subjects. The case of Terri Schiavo's case forced to people to consider the rights of the patient, while Dr. Kevorkian made many examine whether or not a physician has the right to aid in a person's suicidedeath.
Another critical case that concerned euthanasia was that of Paul Brophy in 1986. Brophy was a 49-year-old man from Massachusetts who suffered a an aneurysm , which later that later year produced a brain hemorrhage. As a result, he was left in a vegetative state.
"His wife, Patricia, remembered that her husband had told her ten years before, ... 'I don’t don't ever want to be on a life-support system. No way do I want to live like that; that is not living.' Although he did not talk specifically about whether a feeding tube should be removed, Brophy's brothers, sisters, and adult children confirmed that he would not have wished to be kept alive by a tube."{{citation}} His wife continued to argue in favor of the removal of the feeding tubebeing removed, which caused the case to be brought to court. A lower court found The state had felt that her husband was not terminally ill and that Mr. Brophy had a chance of survival, ruling against his wifeat surviving. But then It was on [[September 11]], 1986, that the Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruled in her favor. However, the ruling included several had complications, to it and Paul Brophy had needed to be transferred to another facility. Eight days after being transferred , he died. This particular case brings an important question to the discussion: does the removal of the feeding tube constitute a refusal of medical treatment? The ruling authorities in many states would answer this question affirmativelyas a yes. Despite all that has been done, there needs to be further clarification on euthanasia on a legal level.
==Conclusion==
Regardless of legal ruling on this issue there will be not significant change from a religious perspective. Christian people, in particular Eastern Orthodox Christians, firmly support the maintaining of human life. Perhaps, if there was a formal statement from the federal government on euthanasia it would motivate the church authority to take a formal position.
 
Euthanasia is setting many legal precedents as well. The state of Oregon passed a law in 1994 making euthanasia legal. This law prescribed that if a person was diagnosed with a deadly condition then a doctor could give a lethal injection. This law caused an immense amount of controversy that it went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The court would end up ruling in favor of the law in January of 2006.
 
In conclusion, there are many issues surrounding euthanasia. There are two forms to which an act of euthanasia can take, it can be either active or by omission. Active euthanasia refers to a procedure that will initiate death, while euthanasia by omission refers to something such as refusing medical treatment until the patient dies. When a person examines the idea of euthanasia, it appears as though it should be a contradiction to a physician. A doctor, ideally is sworn to do anything possible to help maintain and preserve life. Yet through changes in the law the medical community is becoming more receptive to euthanasia.
 
 
[[Category:Bioethics]]
[[Category:Ethics]]
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