The Euthanasia Debate Essay example

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Qualifying euthanasia by calling it active or passive, direct or indirect, voluntary, non-voluntary, involuntary, or assisted suicide only confuses the picture. Euthanasia is when the doctor kills the patient. This simplification is made at the outset as an assist to the reader in more easily understanding the essential meaning without getting lost in hair-splitting verbiage. This approach does not compromise any of the excellent sources documenting this essay.

The original or first broad euthanasia program was for the purpose of "purifying" the German race under Hitler. It was a creation of German physicians, not of Hitler. He simply allowed the use of the tools others had prepared. The first gas chamber was designed by
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In six years, the law was responsible for the involuntary sterilization of an estimated 375,000 Germans. (Deuel) This law also legalized abortion for women who were to be sterilized. Later, the "right" to legal abortion was extended to Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and other racial minorities.

Hitler only opposed abortion for "pure blood" Aryan women. He allowed and even encouraged it for others. In an order to the SS, SD, and police on June 9, 1943, Reichskommisar Kaltenbrunner directed: "In the case of eastern female workers, pregnancy may be interrupted if desired." First, a racial exam was to be done and then, "If a racially valuable result is to be expected, the abortion is to be denied . . . if not valuable, the abortion is to be granted." After the war, the War Crimes Tribunal indicted ten Nazi leaders for "encouraging and compelling abortion," which it considered a "crime against humanity." (Trials)

Holland was the first modern nation to legalize euthanasia. What began as a few extraordinary cases, has now become routine. One hundred and thirty thousand people die each year in Holland, and over 20,000 are killed, directly or indirectly, by doctors. As many as half did not ask to be killed. These now include newborn infants judged to have too poor a quality of life. A judge has permitted direct euthanasia for a depressed person who was physically well. Killing has also been allowed…

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