Euthanasia Alternatives

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2002

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Running head: EUTHANASIA ALTERNATIVES Euthanasia Alternatives There is much controversy surrounding the issue of euthanasia in our society today. Many doctors and nurses are being asked by their terminally ill patients and their patients' families to end their suffering, therefore, purposefully ending their life. Although euthanasia is not legalized anywhere in the United States, health care providers are going through with the patient's or family's requests (Clay, 1997). Some argue that euthanasia should be permitted and that it may be the best approach to solving a given individual's problem. Others agree with it under certain circumstances and specific certain qualities that the patients must possess, such as being in a hopeless condition or being unable to make sound decisions. Lastly, there is a group who strongly oppose euthanasia, arguing that life should not be taken away or given up on, purposefully and that there is always another path to take; there are many other ways to turn besides ending life.

Although the majority of the public supports the death under certain circumstances approach (Asch, 1996), euthanasia should not be legalized and following through with it should be stopped. No matter what the circumstances, an individual's life should not be purposefully taken away or given up on by a health care provider, as there is always an alternate approach.

When terminally ill patients are considering death, they should consider all of their options. There is almost always another alternate measure to death that is somehow hidden. Richman (1995) talks about "tunnel vision," or the way that a patient's other choices or thoughts are absent because that patient's focus is solely on the suicide and not on any other alternatives. One of the first things to do is to open the lines of communication (Clay, 1997). By doing this, patients can sort...