Euthanasia

Publication Title: 
Health Progress (Saint Louis, Mo.)

The success of science and medical technology has led to medical brinkmanship, pushing aggressive treatment as far as it can go. But medicine lacks the precision necessary for such brinkmanship to succeed, and the resulting cycle of expectation and disappointment in technology has, in part, led to an increasing acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide, linked closely with advocacy for patient autonomy. At the opposite extreme lies medical vitalism, which refers to attempts to preserve the patient's life in and of itself without any significant hope for recovery.

Author(s): 
Nairn, T. A.
Publication Title: 
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

The use of terminal sedation to control the intense discomfort of dying patients appears both to be an established practice in palliative care and to run counter to the moral and legal norm that forbids health care professionals from intentionally killing patients. This raises the worry that the requirements of established palliative care are incompatible with moral and legal opposition to euthanasia. This paper explains how the doctrine of double effect can be relied on to distinguish terminal sedation from euthanasia.

Author(s): 
Boyle, Joseph
Publication Title: 
Bioethics

In Life's Dominion Dworkin aims at defusing the controversy about abortion and euthanasia by redefining its terms. Basically it is not a dispute about the right to life, but about its value. Liberals should grant that human life has not only a personal, but also an intrinsic value; conservatives should accept the principle of toleration which requires to let people decide for themselves about matters of intrinsic value.

Author(s): 
Den Hartogh, Govert
Publication Title: 
Christian Bioethics

Being a Christian involves metaphysical, epistemological, and social commitments that set Christians at variance with the dominant secular culture. Because Christianity is not syncretical, but proclaims the unique truth of its revelations, Christians will inevitably be placed in some degree of conflict with secular health care institutions.

Author(s): 
Engelhardt, H. Tristram
Publication Title: 
Christian Bioethics

Against the backdrop of ancient, mediaeval and modern Catholic teaching prohibiting killing (the rule against killing), the question of assisted suicide and euthanasia is examined. In the past the Church has modified its initial repugnance for killing by developing specific guidelines for permitting killing under strict conditions. This took place with respect to capital punishment and a just war, for example.

Author(s): 
Thomasma, David C.
Publication Title: 
Christian Bioethics

The historic or traditional Christian view of pain (suffering) and death, especially as preserved by the Christians East (i.e., the Orthodox), is radically opposed to the modern secular obsession with avoidance of pain. Everything about this life has its goal or aim in a mystical reality, the Kingdom of Heaven, for which earthly life is a preparation. While neither illness nor health are seen as ends in themselves, both are viewed as proceeding from the will of God for our benefit and have no ultimate meaning or purpose outside of eternal life.

Author(s): 
Young, Alexey
Publication Title: 
Revue Medicale De Bruxelles

This paper presents the medical practice according to the occidental philosophy (Platon, Spinoza, Kant). Relationships with the concept of "love" (eros, philia, agape) will be described, and the concept of dignity and autonomy as well. The reflection will focus on the end of life aspects. Although medicine cannot avoid morality, ethic, and deontology, it is also part of philosophy and must warrant the respect of human dignity, especially when a physician helps a patient to die.

Author(s): 
Lossignol, D.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

Arguments are advanced, on a pragmatic basis, for preferring a 'situational' approach to medical ethical problems, rather than an approach based on any one of the dogmatic formulations on offer. The consequences of such a preference are exemplified in relation to confidentiality; and in relation to the ethical dilemmas which surround the beginning and the end of terrestrial human life.

Author(s): 
Black, D.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

Arguments are advanced, on a pragmatic basis, for preferring a 'situational' approach to medical ethical problems, rather than an approach based on any one of the dogmatic formulations on offer. The consequences of such a preference are exemplified in relation to confidentiality; and in relation to the ethical dilemmas which surround the beginning and the end of terrestrial human life.

Author(s): 
Black, D.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Medical Ethics

In the author's experience most normal healthy adults would like to have the choice of medical help to die if they become incurably ill and find their suffering intolerable. The reasons for this are explored, based on ten years of listening and talking about the subject to a wide variety of people in many countries. The most familiar and common are the avoidance of futile suffering and the desire to retain autonomy. This paper concentrates on the dislike of losing independence and its closely associated wish to continue to behave altruistically.

Author(s): 
Davies, J.

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