Euthanasia Case Study

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Research shows that a large sum of medicare money is dedicated to the end of life care.

The term euthanasia comes from the Greek for “good death”. According to Vaughn, it is an act of ending a person’s life for their own sake. There are four kinds of euthanasia which include active voluntary or nonvoluntary euthanasia and passive voluntary or nonvoluntary euthanasia. Active euthanasia is consciously conducting the act with an intent to end the life of someone while passive euthanasia is the lack of action that lead to a person’s death. On the other hand, voluntary euthanasia is when a fully competent person wishing death requests procedures that can end their life. However, nonvoluntary euthanasia is executed when the patient is in a state
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A court case concerning one’s “right to die” was Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. On January 11 of 1983, Nancy Cruzan, who was a 25-year-old at the time, suffered a nearly fatal car accident after she lost control of her car. The accident cause deprivation of oxygen delivery to the brain thus resulting in irreversible brain damage. This left Cruzan in a persistent vegetative state. To maintain Cruzan’s life, physicians decided to surgically implant a feeding tube into Cruzan’s stomach. Five years after the accident, the Cruzans come to terms with the fact that patients in PVS don’t have consciousness and rarely recover. Thus, they requested the removal of Cruzan’s feeding tube which was refused by the center providing care for Cruzan. On July 1988, Judge of Circuit ruled that the feeding tube violated the patient’s “constitutional right to liberty,” meaning that Cruzan has a right to death by refusing life-prolonging procedures. This ruling, however, was overruled by the Missouri Supreme Court. The court denied the request because there was a lack of concrete evidence showing that Cruzan would have wanted the removal of the feeding tube if given the choice. Also, the state argued that they want to preserve every life thus they couldn’t grant permission for the tube removal. The case reached the Supreme Court where it was concluded that in cases like Cruzan’s, …show more content…
On January 8, 1997, Washington v. Glucksberg challenged Washington’s law banning assisted suicide. Dr. Glucksberg along with three other physicians and three terminally ill patients argued for the legality of physician-assisted suicide. They suggested that the criminalization of physician-assisted suicide was unconstitutional and conflicted with their 14th amendment rights. The respondents argued that mentally competent terminally ill persons facing inevitable death should have the option to exercise assisted suicide if they see fit. However, there was a unanimous decision from the Supreme Court stating that physician-assisted suicide is not historically traditional and is not a fundamental right. The Supreme court stated that allowing physician-assisted suicide will lead to a slippery slope where other forms of euthanasia, such as involuntary euthanasia, might also be practiced. Therefore, they left the decision for the states to either ban or allow physician-assisted

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