Topic_9 - GE125 Ethics and Sustainability Topic 9 Applied...

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1 GE125 Ethics and Sustainability Topic 9 Applied Ethical Issues I
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2 What Is “Death”? Whole brain death . Persistent vegetative state (PVS): Unconscious but awake (brain stem functions normally). Coma E ( ) ) (brain stem functions poorly) The question of euthanasia (“good death”) apples only to the living.
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3 Euthanasia The applied ethical issue of euthanasia, or mercy killing , concerns whether it is morally permissible for a third party , such as a physician, to end the life of a terminally ill patient who is in intense pain. Voluntary euthanasia refers to mercy killing that takes place with the explicit and voluntary consent of the patient , either verbally or in a written document such as a living will
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4 Euthanasia Nonvoluntary euthanasia refers to the mercy killing of a patient who is unconscious, comatose , or otherwise unable to explicitly make his intentions known. In these cases it is often family members who make the request . Defenders of personal liberty argue that all of us are morally entitled to end our lives when we see fit. Opponents of euthanasia place emphasis on the value of preserving life.
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5 Important Distinctions in the Euthanasia Debate The active/passive distinction: Active is doing something to cause death Passive is “allowing to die” The ordinary/extraordinary E means distinction Ordinary means have a reasonable hope of benefiting the patient Extraordinary means are excessively burdensome The voluntary/nonvoluntary distinction: Voluntary is with the patient’s free, rational, informed consent Nonvoluntary is where someone else decides . Legal guardianships and advance directives
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6 Morality and the Law Should everything immoral be illegal? Should everything morally permissible be legally permissible?
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7 Euthanasia and the Law The law currently allows mentally and legally competent people to refuse even life-saving treatment for themselves. Passive euthanasia is now a common practice. No state currently allows active euthanasia .
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8 Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) PAS can be seen as a combination of euthanasia and suicide ; It resembles active euthanasia in that the doctor acts to bring about the death but the causation of the doctor is indirect. The American Medical Association opposes assisted suicide but several appeals courts have upheld the practice on privacy grounds. The Oregon Death with Dignity E Act (1994 & 1997): primary reason cited for wanting to kill themselves was not pain or financial problems but autonomy E and personal control.
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9 Pain Medication E that Causes Death This looks like active euthanasia but needs to be distinguished. One way is by the
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Topic_9 - GE125 Ethics and Sustainability Topic 9 Applied...

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