Gmo Potatoes Essay

1919 Words Feb 13th, 2015 8 Pages
NEVADA LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL BUREAU OFFICE OF RESEARCH BACKGROUND PAPER 1977 No. 8 RIGHT TO DIE
I

The name Karen Ann Quinlan brings to mind the plight of many apparently terminally ill patients who are kept alive by lifesustaining mechanical procedures. On March 31, 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court spoke to the issue raised by Miss Quinlan's specific plight and said, based on Karen's right to privacy, that "The present life support systems may be withdr?~m * * * without any civil or criminal liability therefore on the part of any participants." Ironically, Miss Quinlan lives on; so does the question of the role of machines and medication in sustaining vital functions and the propriety of stopping or withholding such treatment from
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Some believe that society has an investment in human life, and the concept of its sacredness, that overrides the individual, if not legally, at least morally. II Determination of the legal aspects of the "right to die" issue has rested primarily with the courts. During the last 4 years, however, increasing legislative interest has been given to this topic. According to the Society for the Right to Die, 25 states have recently considered right to die type legislation. Only one state, California, has enacted such a measure, "The Natural Death Act." The current trend in legislative proposals stresses a specific personal decision on the part of an adult as to treatment or nontreatment in hopeless medical cases. The proposed bills permit an individual to avoid prolongation of his life beyond the point of meaningful (as defined) existence. One type of proposed measure found in some states sanctions painless inducement of death. Another type of measure being considered permits individuals to decide whether life support systems should be used, or continued to be used if they are already in use, if the individuals become terminally ill. Bills introduced in several states legalize approaches such as the "living will," a document which permits a person to indicate, in advance of terminal illness, the course of treatment he wishes to receive should he become terminally ill. An example of a

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