Different Forms Of Euthanasia In The Karen Ann Quinlan Case

1360 Words 5 Pages
Euthanasia exists in several different forms, from passive to voluntary euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is “the removal of a terminally ill or comatose patient from life support” (Right), and is legal throughout the United States. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in four states in the U.S; this is where a doctor gives a patient something to end his or her life but does not directly provide a lethal dose. When suffering from terminal illnesses the side effects can range from loss of autonomy or the ability to make choices, the ability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable, loss of dignity, losing control of bodily functions, and many other excruciating outcomes. Which is why it is important for every patient suffering with a terminal …show more content…
When her parents discovered that she had no chance of recovery, they wanted to disconnect Karen’s respirator. The hospital fought against ending her treatment and ended up in a legal battle, which reached New Jerseys Supreme Court. The court reached a decision that the respirator could be removed, and ruled the states interest in the protecting the human lives yields to the patients right to refuse medical treatment. In re Quinlan case has made a significant impact and influenced United States law by providing the framework for deciding difficult and controversial legal issues that continue to appear modern medicine advances. Almost every decision since this case has recognized the patients right to refuse medical treatment. This case has also made it clear that when a patient has no autonomy, the right to refuse treatments can be upheld by the patient’s family, or legal guardian. Throughout the advancements of modern medicine there have been many cases of a patient falling into a negative state, into a coma, or even becoming brain dead and because of the right to refuse medical treatment, decisions can be made in the patient’s best interest. In re Quinlan allowed and made it clear to the United States government that the right to refuse treatment is up to the patient “[…] The state’s interest in the preservation of human life must give way …show more content…
The right to die with physician assistance is for patients with terminal, painful, or disabling illnesses and the right to choose a dignified death. There are many misconceptions and fallacies concerning physician-assisted suicide, and a clear understanding of the qualifications, safeguards, and legal rights is vital when forming an opinion on the practice. In order to obtain means of ending your life through physician assisted suicide the patient must have less than six months to live, voluntarily express the wish to die, be deemed mentally fit, the patient must ask repeatedly to die and the doctors must confirm the patient is not suffering from depression or distorted judgment. Another misconception is the lack of safeguards surrounding physician assisted suicide, such that the person concerned genuinely wants to end their life and are not being pressurized into it or have it done without their knowledge and consent. Misconstrued knowledge on the topic can lead to a wrongful opinion and focus on the real problem can be lost. The law will not deprive choice, but it will allow a mentally competent, incurably ill individual the right to seek aid in dying from his/her physician. The law is not prejudice, but only applies to patients who are severely ill or disabled and allows them a chance of escape from suffering, if desired.

Related Documents