The social political ramifications of euthanasia of people with special needs

Import into RefWorks 1. Introduction Questions about life and death will always be among the major issues people have to answer both collectively and individually — by every member of society. The ageing population, the increase in deaths from cancer and the expected deaths from AIDS, the development and expansion of life-prolonging technologies, the possible generational and cultural changes in the attitudes of patients, and care of the dying are fast creating grave moral dilemmas for society.

The social political ramifications of euthanasia of people with special needs

However, they are different and, in the law, they are treated differently. Part I of this report discusses the reasons used by activists to promote changes in the law; the contradictions that the actual proposals have with those reasons; and the logical progression that occurs when euthanasia and assisted suicide are transformed into medical treatments.

It explores the failure of so-called safeguards and outlines the impact that euthanasia and assisted suicide have on families and society in general. Withholding and withdrawing medical treatment and care are not legally considered euthanasia or assisted suicide.

It concludes with an examination of the ethical distinction between treatment and care. Not for Adults Only? At that time, such concerns were largely considered outside the realm of possibility. Then, as now, assisted-suicide advocates claimed that they were only trying to offer compassionate options for competent, terminally ill adults who were suffering unbearably.

By and large, their claims went unchallenged. The primary purpose of that protocol — formulated by doctors at the Groningen Academic Hospital in the Netherlands — was to legally and professionally protect Dutch doctors who kill severely disabled newborns.

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Dutch doctors were now explaining that it was a necessary part of pediatric care. Awareness of infanticide and euthanasia deaths of other incompetent patients moved the boundaries. Prior to the widespread realization that involuntary euthanasia was taking place, advocacy of assisted suicide for those who request it seemed to be on one end of the spectrum.

Opposition to it was on the other end. This repositioning has become a tool in the assisted-suicide arsenal. Currently, euthanasia is a medical treatment in the Netherlands and Belgium. Assisted suicide is a medical treatment in the Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon.

Their advocates erroneously portray both practices as personal, private acts. However, legalization is not about the private and the personal.

The social political ramifications of euthanasia of people with special needs

It is about public policy, and it affects ethics, medicine, law, families and children. I think when there is extreme, unbearable suffering, then there can be extreme relief. Infanticide had entered the realm of respectable debate in the mainstream media.

The message given to viewers was that loving parents, compassionate doctors and caring legislators favor infanticide. It left the impression that opposing such a death would be cold, unfeeling and, perhaps, intentionally cruel. In Oregon, some assisted-suicide deaths have become family or social events.

Cultural Perspective on Euthanasia

However, as two news features illustrate, some Oregonians who die from assisted suicide make it a teachable moment for children or a party event for friends and family.

According to the Mail Tribune Medford, Oregonon a sunny afternoon, Joan Lucas rode around looking at houses, then she sat in a park eating an ice cream cone.

A few hours later, she committed suicide with a prescribed deadly drug overdose. Those who were old enough to understand were told what was happening. It described how Karen Janoch who committed suicide under the Oregon law, sent invitations for her suicide to about two dozen of her closest friends and family.

In Oregon, assisted suicide has gone from the appalling to the appealing, from the tragic to the banal. During the last half of and the first half ofbills to legalize assisted suicide were under consideration in various states and countries including, but not limited to, Canada, Great Britain, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington.

All had met failure by the end of June But plans to reintroduce them with some cosmetic changes are currently underway. Invariably, promotion rests on two pillars: Autonomy Autonomy independence and the right of self-determination is certainly valued in modern society and patients do, and should, have the right to accept or reject medical treatment.

However, those who favor assisted suicide claim that autonomy extends to the right of a patient to decide when, where, how and why to die as the following examples illustrate.A look at euthanasia and assisted suicide through the eyes of five people -- three patients, a doctor, and a hospice nurse, all of whom speak from their hearts, not from a script.

Euthanasia, human rights and the law | Australian Human Rights Commission

15 Minutes View. It is imperative that we consider the effect that legalising euthanasia would have on the values and symbols that make up the intangible fabric that constitutes our society, and on some of our.

The social political ramifications of euthanasia of people with special needs

The Impact of Euthanasia on Society. In Holland where euthanasia is legal many people now carry?anti-euthanasia passports' because they are afraid they may be killed if admitted to hospital. 9 Voluntary euthanasia leads to involuntary euthanasia Political Key Issues - Euthanasia. Economics; Religious Key Issues - Euthanasia.

social implications of legalized euthanasia reveals that these fears are largely unfounded or misguided and do not adequately justify a blanket prohibition against euthanasia. In Oregon, the legitimate medical option of physician-assisted suicide has not.

References

Download pdf of "Euthanasia, human rights and the law" ( KB) Download docx of "Euthanasia, human rights and the law" The current debate on euthanasia sits within a social context that is in a state of flux.

prohibit States from passing laws which allow for involuntary euthanasia of people with disability because of their. The on-going campaigns to legalise euthanasia or assisted dying, some of which are attracting the support of various celebrities, have raised particular concerns amongst people with disabilities and their families and supporters.

The Impact of Euthanasia on Society | The Life Resources Charitable Trust