Medical and Environmental Ethics - Euthanasia

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  • Created by: dominique
  • Created on: 07-05-14 13:31
What is Euthanasia?
Term comes from two grek words: 'Eu' meanining 'well' and 'thanatos' meaning 'death'. It literally means 'good death. It dessribesa medical procedure by which a person teminates his or her life', or caused to come to an end because of illness
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What is Passive Euthanasia?
allowing a patient to die by withdrawing medical treatment or nourishment. E.g Switching off the life support machine
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What is Active Euthanasia?
taking action deliberatly designed to end a patient's life. E.g Giving the lethal injectuon
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What is Euthanasia's current legal position in the UK?
deliberate or 'active' euthanasia will normally leave anyone assisting in suicde or death liable for murder. It is outlawed by the Murder Act of 1965 and the Suicide Act of 1971. It isnt against the law in -Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemborg.
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What is Voluntary Euthanasia?
Causing patients death, where consent has been given by the individual. Groups are campaigning for changes to the allow euthanasia are campaigning for voluntary euthanasia. 'Dignity in Dying'- UK Group campaigning
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What is Non-voluntary Euthanasia?
The killing of a patient who isnt able to express his/her wishes to live or die. E.g New born baby, a person in a PVS
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Arguements for legalising voluntary euthanasia
Personal Autonomy, Quality of life priniciple, end the suffering, pressure on society, shorten suffering for the family, allows us to legalise and regulte what already happens, legal elsewhere, uses NHS resources keeping them alive
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Personal Autonomy
Doctors should have their patients best interest in mind, they should listen to the patients and respond to their concerns and preferences. it is a basic human right to live or to die and it should be respected
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'Quality of Life' Principle
Quality of life is a human condition in which a person enjoys a degree of physical, intellectual and emotional well-being, absence of this is used as an arguement. Condition prevents them from enjoying life, they coud have to have things done for the
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Ends Suffering
Preceeding death is pain, which can be prevented only by the use of drugs, and this i to a limited extent. Therfore is it not better to end the suffering quickly if they are in a lot of pain? COMPASSION
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Pressure on Society
Not enough hopsice's for people, puts pressure on the health service to keep them alive, need for organ transplants-TOO MANY
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Shortens suffering to the family
drawn out process of a serious or terminal illness can have a massive impact upon the emotional, physical and psychological well being of the patients parter/family. Allowing them to die would reduce this time period
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Allows us to legalise and regulate what already happens
Doctors can give morphine to minimise pain, but they know this will hasten the persons death. THE DOUBLE EFFECT. Primary effect is good, but the secondayr effect is that they will end the patients life by giving too much.
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Difference between active and passive?
If you could allow one from you should allow the other. Passive could have more of an effect that active. Active allows them to die quickly, less painfully and with more dignity
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Legal Elsewhere
Other countries have legalised Euthanasia. Luxemborg, Netherlands, Belgium. WHY NOT UK? Travelling to these legalise places is distressing
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Using the resources of the NHS
Hospitals have a budget, artficially prolonging lives doesnt use the money well. The money could be spent on, heart transplants on a young child whos quality of life could be dramatically improved
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Arguments againt euthanasia
Sanctity of life principle, ill patients are vunerable, mistaken diagnosis leads to request for euthansia, motive for act?, Slippery Slope, doesnt just effect person, Doctors duty- protect life, death doesnt have to be painful
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'Sancity of Life' principle
Often used by religious believers. Human life is sacred and that no person has the right to take his or her own life, or the life of another. GOD CREATED US, ONLY GOD CAN TAKE LIFE
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Ill patients are vunerable
As a result of this they shouldnt be asked to make a definite decision whilst suffering, judgement can be clouded by pain. could feel pressure by the families suffering
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Mistaken diagnosis could lead to a request for euthanasia
Mistakes can be easily made, PVS patients have been known to recover, terminal illness dont always end in death
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Motive for the act?
When a person asks for death how can we know that the person isnt crying out in depair? Can doctors be sure that the patients know and understand it? Do they truly want to make the decision?
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Slippery Slope arugment
Euthanasia is the thin end of a wedge, once we accept euthanasia we open the door for all sorts of other procedures and abuses, including infanticide. Euhanasia crossed a line, consequences will then be unforseeable. Voluntery >> Compulsory Euthansia
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Doesnt just affect the patient
It affects others and society as a whole. The doctor who assits, the nurses who care, the hopsital it takes place in and the wider community
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Doctors have a duty to procect life
The Good Medical practice guide for doctors, states that doctors are personally accountable for their practice and must always be able to justify their decisions and actions. Protect patient, never harm them, work at their best for patient
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Death doesnt have to be painful- Hospice Movement
The hospice movement exists to care for terminal patients and to educate the public and the medical profession in alternatives to the extremes of a painful death or euthanasia. It specialises in pain control/ aims to give people best quality of life
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Religious arguments- AGAINST EUTHANASIA
JUDAISM- God gave humans dominion over all creation, we have a reponsibility to use Gods gift to the full, including the gift of life. CHRISTIANS - Ten Commandments- 'Thou shalt not kill'. ISLAM- Muslims have a duty to care for the elderly and sick
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Religious Arguments - FOR EUTHANASIA
JUDAISM- Fulfilling their religious duty in the ten commandments- 'Honour your father and mother' by respecting their parents wih to die. CHRISTIANS- Jesus wanted us to show compassion 'Love one another as i have loved you. HINDUSIM- Selfish to live
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

allowing a patient to die by withdrawing medical treatment or nourishment. E.g Switching off the life support machine

Back

What is Passive Euthanasia?

Card 3

Front

taking action deliberatly designed to end a patient's life. E.g Giving the lethal injectuon

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

deliberate or 'active' euthanasia will normally leave anyone assisting in suicde or death liable for murder. It is outlawed by the Murder Act of 1965 and the Suicide Act of 1971. It isnt against the law in -Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemborg.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Causing patients death, where consent has been given by the individual. Groups are campaigning for changes to the allow euthanasia are campaigning for voluntary euthanasia. 'Dignity in Dying'- UK Group campaigning

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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