For several years, legislatures have been turning down bills aimed at the legalization of euthanasia in the United States. Inthe Nebraska legislature voted down a bill legalizing voluntary active euthanasia in the U. Only two years later, the New York legislature rejected a bill that was also aimed at the legalization of euthanasia in the United States. As of today, euthanasia is illegal in almost every country.
Open in a separate window The proportion of non-treatment decisions also differed substantially between countries: Alleviation of pain and symptoms while taking into account or appreciating hastening of death as a possible side-effect happened more frequently and in comparable rates in all countries: These rates show that end-of-life decision-making with a possible or certain life-shortening effect is practiced everywhere in the studied West-European countries.
End-of-life decisions that are mainly a medical response to the suffering of patients, such as alleviation of pain and symptoms, are performed in rather similar frequencies.
However, the frequency of end-of-life decisions that are to a large extent determined by cultural factors—such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and non-treatment decisions—varies much more between the countries.
Another striking finding Research about euthanasia this study was that in countries where patients and relatives are more often involved in the decision-making at the end of life, Research about euthanasia frequency of end-of-life decisions was higher, for example in the Netherlands.
Many terminally ill patients who are facing death are offered interventions that may prolong their lives but at the same time may diminish their quality of life, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation or nasal-gastric feeding tubes.
Discussion between patient, relatives and professional caregivers about whether or not to use such interventions may result in the recognition that quality of life is sometimes to be preferred over prolonging life at all costs.
What Have We Learnt? While initially we thought that the high response rates of the Dutch studies could probably be explained by the Dutch tradition of openness about the subject, our European study showed that quite large proportions of physicians in other countries were also willing to share their experiences.
Second, our research shows that end-of-life decision-making is a significant aspect of end-of-life care. In approximately 4 out of every 10 patients, death is preceded by a decision that possibly or certainly hastened their dying process. Rather, it is also aimed at improving the quality of life of patients through the prevention and relief of their symptoms, sometimes to the extent that far-reaching decisions such as euthanasia are requested by the patient.
Third, public control and transparency of the practice of euthanasia is to a large extent possible, at least in the Netherlands. The review and notification procedure has increasingly been accepted by physicians, which shows their trust in the system.
A last important lesson that can be learnt is that the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands did not result in a slippery slope for medical end-of-life practices.
Besides religious or principal-based arguments, the slippery slope argument is the mainstay of opponents of the legalization of euthanasia. Briefly, the argument states that: B is morally not acceptable; therefore, we must not allow A Griffiths et al.
Our studies show no evidence of a slippery slope. The frequency of ending of life without explicit patient request did not increase over the studied years.
Also, there is no evidence for a higher frequency of euthanasia among the elderly, people with low educational status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, minors, people with psychiatric illnesses including depression, or racial or ethnic minorities, compared with background populations Battin et al.
The best example of such an open concept is the condition that the patient should suffer unbearably. In the Chabot-casethe Court decided that suffering that has a non-somatic origin such as a severe and refractory depression can also be a justification for euthanasia; in the Brongersma-case this was further specified in the sense that suffering should originate from a medically classifiable disease, either somatic or psychiatric Griffiths et al.
Euthanasia is most often performed in cases of severe suffering due to physical disease and symptoms and severe function loss, for patients with a limited life expectancy Onwuteaka-Philipsen et al. In such cases there is usually little discussion about whether or not the suffering was unbearable.
A previous study showed that a quarter of physicians who receive euthanasia requests find it problematic to assess the criteria of due care Buiting et al. Problems are mostly related to the assessment of whether the patient suffered unbearably.
To assess unbearability, physicians have to know how their patients experience the suffering, and there is no specific instrument to do so. What can be objectively determined is the underlying disease and the accompanying symptoms and loss of function.
Hence, what is still bearable for one person may be unbearable for another. Some claim this makes the unbearability of suffering something a physician can hardly assess and which should mainly be left to the judgment of the patient Beijk ; Buiting et al.
Yet, the review committees argue that suffering should be at least partly open to objectification Regional Euthanasia Review Committees Consequently, it is likely that physicians may have different opinions about which suffering can count as a legitimate ground for euthanasia.
On the one hand, different opinions about when suffering becomes unbearable could be interpreted as problematic. From the perspective of a patient, it may partly be a matter of chance whether a request for euthanasia will be granted.
However, it is likely that this problem mainly exists in boundary cases, which are a minority of the euthanasia cases in the Netherlands Onwuteaka-Philipsen et al.
From this point of view, difficulties with interpreting whether suffering is unbearable and potential differences between physicians and patients are to be expected and are consistent with the legal system of euthanasia in the Netherlands Thus, although assessing when suffering becomes unbearable is highly personal and ultimately depends on the experience of the person who is suffering, fostering societal and professional discussion and case law can further stimulate the exploration of the legal and moral boundaries of unbearable suffering in the context of the euthanasia law.
An Alternative for Euthanasia?
Medical indications for continuous deep sedation are present when one or more untreatable or refractory symptoms are causing the patient unbearable suffering Verkerk et al. A second precondition for the use of continuous deep sedation is the expectation that death will ensue in the reasonably near future—that is, within one to two weeks Verkerk et al.
Studies in the Netherlands show that the estimated life shortening effect of continuous deep sedation is limited in most cases Rietjens et al.Euthanasia is the act of killing animals using methods that cause minimal animal pain, distress and anxiety prior to rapid loss of consciousness and death.
Research on Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were without request or consent. Euthanasia research papers examine the issue of a person's right to die.
Furthermore, the ethical decisions will be examined in a euthanasia term paper. The issue of euthanasia is a moral dilemma and the arguments usually focus on three main areas. Research on Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region .
Euthanasia is a unique practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal disease/illness or an incurable condition by means of the. Euthanasia Research Paper: Writing Tips. Writing your euthanasia research paper would be more difficult for you than a simple essay.
Nevertheless, if you know the structure and know what to do in each part of your research, nothing is impossible!