Educator: Alex Doms
Scientist: Allison Graham
Sociologist: Genevieve Hull
Lawyer: Kiley Gilligan
external image euthanasia.JPG&usg=AFQjCNFkNcoWFxvl5hNg_6H-g8MgaPTQOw

What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is also known as mercy killing. The act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition

· Euthanasia is often confused with assisted suicide. In euthanasia someone else performs the act of killing. In assisted suicide the person who dies kills themself.
· An example of euthanasia: A doctor gives the patient (with patient's consent) a lethal injection
· An example of assisted suicide: A doctor supplies a patient with drugs or medicine, and the patient takes it themselves.
· Passive euthanasia: when the patient desides they no longer want to live; they may refuse medical treatment. The doctors can not do anything about this.
· If a patient has a will specifying that they do not want to be on life support for over a certain amount of time the doctors will have to remove the patient from life support.

Aggressive Euthanasia- Lethal doses of medicine administered orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly

Passive Euthanasia (Most Common)- Refusing to administer medication or treatment like surgery
- Withdrawal of life-supporting treatment

external image mban2011l.jpg
Lethal Injection
Lethal Injection

Moral Issues:

Think about this:
"You hand me a dagger and say, 'I am too weak to do it; here, plunge this between my ribs,' I take it you are asking me to kill you. If I comply, and am discovered, my discoverer will cry, 'You killed him!' and I will reply, 'yes, but he asked me to.'" (Parris).

A. AMA (and others) argue Euthanasia counters the mission of the medical profession: to help people heal and get better

"Thomas Reardon, past president of the AMA said, 'Physicians are healers.... The inability of physicians to prevent death does not imply that they are free to help cause death.'" (Chun and Wallace).

2. The Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians mandates "Do no harm"; it also states: "I will give no deadly medicine, even if asked."

B. Just for the terminally ill?

1. In theory, yes.
2. There is a problem: There are differing definitions of "terminally ill"
3. Also: Medical experts say it is impossible to determine just how long a patient has to live

C. The only way to end pain?

1. No.
2. Euthanasia activists claim there are only 2 options when cure is no longer likely: Unbearable pain or Euthanasia
3. They fail to mention pain control
4. According to Torr, there is a "national and international scandal that so many people do not get adequate pain control; killing is not the answer to this scandal!"
5. According to Dr. Richard Payne, inadequate pain-control and treatment is a serious problem for terminally-ill patients
6. Solution: better education about pain treatment methods, increase accessibilaty to health care, and inform patients of available treatments

D. Shouldn't a terminally ill patient have the right to commit suicide, or asked to be killed?

1. No.
2. Suicide in a non-terminally ill patient is EQUAL to suicide in a terminally ill patient
3. Therefore: "depression, family conflict, hoplessness, etc. lead to suicide--regardless of one's physical condition" (Torr).
4. Despite the misconception, most patients that want Euthanasia are not motivated by pain—psychological factors are most often the cause of their suicidal thought

  • Some say a patient’s suicidal request is actually a cry for help; to see if anyone cares
  • “Legalization would result in the deaths of people who do not truly want to die—people who are depressed [and]/or who have requested euthanasia” (Torr), only because of the psychological factors influencing their decision making.
5. Studies prove that if pain and depression are both treated and controlled in a dying patient (the same as a normal suicidal patient), the suicidal wishes disappear
6. According to the IAETF:
"Euthanasia is not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead, is about changing the law and public policy so that doctors, relatives and others can directly and intentionally end another person's life. This change would not give rights to the person who is killed, but to the person who does the killing... Euthanasia is not about the right to die. It's about the right to kill" (Torr).

Doctors Should be in the business of saving lives, not ending them.

Legal Issues:
Most of the world it is illegal
Albania- legalized in 1999 under the rights of the terminally ill act of 1995; passive euthanasia legal if 3 family member consent
Australia- in the northern territory it was once legalized by the rights of the terminally ill act of 1995, but has since been revoked; not usually prosecuted if you do assist in death
Belgium- legalized in 2002
Japan- has never ruled on a policy
Luxembourg- has worked toward legalizing euthanasia
The Netherlands- legalized euthanasia in 2002 (included assisted suicide)
Switzerland- okay
United Kingdom- not legal; most want it and some want it for disabled newborns
United States- mostly not legal; Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act in 1994; patients can still refuse treatment
In the United States, euthanasia is regulated by state governments, NOT the federal government.

Discussion Questions:
1) Is killing another person ok, if they say they want to be killed (euthanasia)?
2) Is helping someone kill themselves ok (assisted suicide)?
3) Who should be responsible for making laws about euthanasia? Should there even be a law? Is it a choice?

Website URL:<span style="mso-tab-count: 1">
Name of Reviewer:Alex Doms
Date of Review:5/19/2008
Review of Site: (must cover all aspects of evaluation questionnaire)

1) International task force on euthanasia and assisted suicide
2) The webpage was last updated in 2008.
The webpage states: We are committed to the fundamental belief that the intentional killing of another person is wrong. We have deep sympathy for
those people who are suffering. Therefore this information is not objective. The webpage has different sections going into in depth analyses, frequently asked questions, and overviews.

4) The purpose of this website is to provide information to persuade people that euthanasia and assisted suicide is wrong.
5) I would not recommend this website for others searching on this topic. The information is biased and trying to persuade you to be against euthanasia. Even if you re against euthanasia, the information on the site may be skewed or changed, therefore not giving the reader accurate information.

Website URL:
Name of Reviewer: Kiley
Date of Review: May 20, 2008
Review of Site: (must cover all aspects of evaluation questionnaire)
The author is either a student or a professor at Stanford University, in California. The web page was first published April 18, 1996, but it has been revised recently on December 4, 2007. In parts of the website, it seems that it may be a little biased and opinionated, but for the most part it gives pretty good information on euthanasia, it goes fairly in depth. The article is mostly there to inform people on the subject of Euthanasia. The information seems to be solid. I would recommend this website to people interested in Euthanasia because it seems to give accurate information that is not trying to persuade or advocate it, it is just presenting solid facts.

Website URL:
Name of Reviewer: Allison
Date of Review: 5-19-08
Review of Site:, a public nonprofit organization, published this website. The info presented does not have a date of publication. The information does not express a bias; it is all impartial and is given in an in-depth analysis. The purpose of the website is to present unbiased information of the topic. The only reason I would not recommend this website is there is not a publication date, but besides that, it seems credible.

WebsiteURL:<span style="mso-tab-count: 1">
Name of Reviewer: Genni Date of Review: 5/19/08
Review of Site: (must cover all aspects of evaluation questionnaire)
This webpage is sponsored by the National Right to Life Committee. Their purpose is to restore legal protection to innocent human life. Their primary concern is abortion, but they also concerned with euthanasia and infanticide. They are on the “con” side of euthanasia argument. This website would have to be considered biased, as it only presents an argument for one side of the debate. However, it does provide good information for its argument. Its main purpose is to inform individuals about the wrongs of euthanasia, to persuade its readers to join their cause, and to support pro-life and the related causes. The only problem I found with the site is its lack of publication date. Otherwise, it is helpful site to begin euthanasia research with.

Bibliography<span style="FONT-FAMILY: Consolas">