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March+1 - Current Moral Problems Lecture March 1 Should...

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Current Moral Problems Lecture March 1 Should Voluntary Active Euthanasia (VAE) Be Legalized? Stephen Potts: “Objections to the Institutionalization of Euthanasia” Potts’ Position He opposes  legalizing  VAE VAE is not necessarily unethical: “…I object, not so much to individual acts of euthanasia, but to institutionalising it as a  practice” (SE, p. 81). Institutionalization:  Legalization, acceptance in health care institutions, and acceptance by professional  organizations, such as the AMA A Critical Analysis of Potts’ Reasons for Not Legalizing VAE First Reason: Reduced Pressure to Improve Curative or Symptomatic Treatment Potts’ Claim With the availability of VAE, there would be less interest in developing cures, treatments,  and palliative measures. Analysis Is this a plausible claim?  If VAE were available would we no longer want to find a cure for cancer or AIDs? Would  we no longer care whether pain and suffering can be reduced or prevented? In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is legal, a study reported that  physicians undertook efforts to  improve  their knowledge and skills in relation to pain control.  Second Reason: Abandonment of Hope Potts’ Claim Physicians’ diagnoses and prognoses are sometimes mistaken
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Patients diagnosed with a fatal disease do not have a fatal disease.
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