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Euthanasia: An Annotated Bibliography
Natalie Roberts
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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Dougherty, Charles J., et al. Euthanasia Opposing Viewpoints. Ed. David Bender, Bruno Leone, and Carol Wekesser. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 1995. 64-172. This book offers several viewpoints from different people on the issue of legalizing euthanasia. The view is that it should not be legalized because it would harm society in several ways, and it should be fought against. It would harm society by devaluating human life, and if it were legalized, one day it might become the main method of dying. If physician-assisted suicide is legalized, pretty soon it would be common for the elderly to accept it only in fear of being a burden to their families or their own burdens of old age. Health care should be improved, rather than turning to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, because physicians would be vulnerable to abuse it and kill patients unnecessarily. This book is a good source because it has the viewpoints of more than one person. They had relevant facts to support their claim that euthanasia should not be legalized.

Doyal, Len, and Lesley Doyal. "Why active euthanasia and physician assisted suicide should be legalised." British Medical Journal 323 (2001): 1079-080. The law should be changed so that a person that is terminally ill, or is suffering from some other type of painstaking disease, should be able choose the circumstance of his/her own death. Technology in the medical field is increasing every day, and new devices and treatments can allow a person with a terminal sickness to live a little while longer. That does not always mean it is better for the patient, especially if he/she will be in pain for the remainder of his/her life. Patients should have the right to choose whether to survive longer, possibly in pain or some kind of suffering, or to be relieved of that pain by death, whether with help, or by refusing life sustaining treatment. This article is a pro-legalization of euthanasia because it gives an example of why a person might choose euthanasia, instead of a prolonged, painful life.

Emanuel, Ezekiel J. "What is the Great Benefit of Legalizing Euthanasia of Physician-Assisted suicide?" Ethics 109.3 (1999): 629-42. Too much attention focuses on the fact of using euthanasia to improve end-of-life care when, in all actuality, euthanasia would more likely impair the care of the 2.3 million patients in the U.S. who die each year. There are more harms than benefits that would develop from legalizing euthanasia. There is also an amount of unfairness that goes into the debate about legalizing euthanasia. The main difference in opinion of legalizing and not legalizing euthanasia is between two groups of people from two completely different walks of life; it is basically between younger, rich, white people and older, poor minorities. This is an interesting article that focuses on the likely harms, as well as the likely benefits of legalizing article. The author in this article obviously stands on the opposing side of the debate of legalizing euthanasia.

Foot, Philippa. "Euthanasia." Philosophy and Public Affairs 6.2 (1977): 85-112. Euthanasia is not just a quiet and easy death, as the definition states. This article compares the definition to Hitler's "euthanasia program"(85). Euthanasia is an important issue and it should not be used like Hitler's idea of euthanasia was used. If it was just meant to be a quiet and easy death, then murderers could get away with killing people by saying the victim wanted to die. Euthanasia should be for the benefit of the one who wishes to die. The proper definition of the word euthanasia would be a "death understood as a good or happy event for the one who dies"(86). This article focuses on how euthanasia could be a positive thing for the person who chooses it. The author is definitely not against euthanasia, but she understands the precautions necessary to legalize it.

Golden, Marilyn. "Why Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Legalized." California Disability Alliance. 11 Oct. 2004 <http://disweb.org/cda/issues/pas/golden1.html>. In this article, the author addresses several problems in legalizing physician-assisted suicide (pas), and why it is a terrible idea. She explains that only a few numbers of people would actually benefit from this type of euthanasia, and a larger group of people would be harmed. If physician-assisted suicide were legalized, improvement in health care would decline, mainly because lethal medication for assisted suicide is cheaper than the cost of treatment for most long-term medical conditions (1). Legalization is already happening in Oregon and the Netherlands. Euthanasia has changed from being specifically for terminally ill patients to patients who are psychologically distressed. A patient can make his/her own choices, but sometimes other factors are involved in that choice such as family, close friends, and the physician. This article was efficient in arguing against legalizing pas because she had sufficient facts and examples to argue her point.

Humphry, Derek, and Mary Clement. Freedom to Die. New York: St. Martin's P, 1998. In this book, the author explains several reasons why legalizing euthanasia would be better for society. One reason is because of the innovation that medical technology has had on dying patients. Many patients with terminal illnesses die in hospitals and institutions. Medical technology has allowed terminal ill and comatose patients to live longer by artificial means. This leads to the argument of free choice by the patient. The author explains that patients' rights would not be as big of an issue if technology had not advanced so much as to extend patients' suffering by keeping them alive. Also, a decline in doctor-patient relationships has led to patients to not trusting their physicians to treat them in their best interest, which causes patients to look for alternative methods of dying. The authors explain in good detail reasons for legalizing euthanasia.

"Informed Consent and the Dying Patient." The Yale Law Journal 83.8 (1974): 1632-664. This article focuses on the dying patient to either refuse treatment, or request an injection that would end the patient's life quicker and easier. Terminal and non-terminal patients both have the right to make decisions for themselves. Furthermore, patients should be given all facts and information necessary about their condition in order for them to make a competent decision. Lawmakers should be careful when deciding how to make laws that permit euthanasia. The laws should be changed to minimize conflict with present homicide and suicide laws, and they should be made so that doctors can fulfill and honor patients' wishes without fear of liability for complicity in certain forms of voluntary euthanasia. This article was consistent with the topic about patients' consent in the act of euthanasia. The details in the notes of this article express the author's pro-euthanasia viewpoint, and that euthanasia should only happen with consent of the patient.

Markus, Andrew C. "Life or Death, Mad or Sane-Who Decides?" Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 45.2 (2002): 264-71. This article focuses on the issue of who should be allowed to decide the death of an individual. Everybody has the right to live, but if they choose to die with assistance, who will assist them? Also, careful consideration must be taken into this decision to make sure the person was thinking rationally when he/she decided to end their life. People with an incurable and painful illness should be allowed to die if they wish, and so should people who are depressed and feel they have nothing to live for; "autonomy should be allowed to trump" (268). This article is for the right of voluntary euthanasia, and Dr. Markus believes "that if euthanasia were to be legalized, it should be administered by someone other than a doctor" (270). This is a good article that gives examples of how euthanasia could be a positive thing.

Sanders, Joseph. "Euthanasia: None Dare Call It Murder." The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science 60.3 (1969): 351-59. Euthanasia is when death is brought upon by permission from the victim. When euthanasia happens by act of commission it can be associated with homicide. Therefore, Euthanasia should not be legalized because it is murder. When a person gives another person consent to kill him/her, that person is exercising the right to die; however, this act is also exercising the right of another to kill. Some people who have "mercy killed" another have not been found guilty in a court of law, and have been acquitted by reason of insanity. The current law on euthanasia will probably stand for awhile without much change because there are valid reasons for opposing the legalization of voluntary euthanasia. This article points out the various reasons for opposing euthanasia as lawful, and it is a good article against legalization of euthanasia.

Velleman, David J. "A Right to Self-Termination?" Ethics 109.3 (1999): 606-28. A person should not have the right to end his life only based on the benefits he will obtain or the harms he will avoid. The decision he makes in deciding whether or not he dies will not affect more people than just himself. It would affect others, such as family members and friends. Moreover, a person should not base his decision of letting someone else end his life for him just because he does not see anything worth living for. A person's life is sacred and of value. The author of this article has deep feelings of opposition towards euthanasia. In this article, he discusses fairly good reasons for opposing euthanasia, and those are the affects that type of death would have on people other than the one dying.

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