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The Moral and Ethical Concerns Surrounding Euthanasia

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Euthanasia has been legal in Belgium since 2002. Each case must be reviewed by two physicians before the procedure is carried out by either ingestion or injection. In The Netherlands, euthanasia has been legal for four years but has been tolerated for two decades. The guidelines for physicians handed down from the government include; “ the patient must be suffering unbearably and have no hope of improvement, must ask to die and the patient must clearly understand the condition and prognosis (and) a second doctor must agree with the decision to help the patient die” (“ The Fight” , 2004). Proponents of euthanasia are concerned with human suffering.

Many diseases such as cancer cause a lingering and excruciatingly painful death. Watching a loved one as they wither away from the disease eating away at their organs is tough enough on family members, but to see them suffer even when drugs are administered is unbearable not to mention what the patient must endure. This emotionally and physically torturous situation is played out in every hospital, every day of the year but serves no purpose.

To many, it is unimaginable to allow anyone, for example, a sweet old grandmother who has spent her life caring for others to spend the last six months of their life enduring constant pain, unable to control bodily functions, convulsing, coughing, vomiting, etc. The psychological pain for both the family and patient is unimaginably horrific as well. If grandma were a dog, most all would agree that the only humane option would be to ‘ put her to sleep. citizens are guaranteed certain rights but not the right to ‘ die with dignity. ’ This right is not prohibited by the Constitution but by religious zealots who evidently put the quality of life of a dog above grandmas.

Patients suffering from Alzheimer’ s may not suffer physical pain but endure a different type of pain and usually for a long period of time. Alzheimer’ s is a degenerative disease causing the patient to ramble incoherently and lose their memory.

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