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Unformatted text preview: 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 Patients diagnosed with a fatal disease do not have a fatal disease....
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- Fall '08