Jodie_Haselkorn_ Lecture Slides

Arguments for assistance with death liberty

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Arguments for Assistance with Death Liberty guaranteed by the Constitution under the provision of the 14 th Amendment Oregon Death with Dignity Act, 1994 January 2006 Supreme Court decision upholding Oregon law
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Arguments for Assistance with Death Nancy Cruzan legal case extends assistance from withdrawal based on invasion to the liberty associated with having the autonomy to decide own death The Cruzan ruling requires that States not make it a burden on individuals by prohibiting physicians from being permitted to withdraw support. This can be extended to providing assistance. Unlike situations of requested withdrawal, physicians would not be compelled to provide support.
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Arguments for Assistance with Death Providing assistance with dying to a competent, capable person is safer than withdrawing support based on an advance directive. Euthanasia is not self-determination, but a mutual, social decision between two people. Assistance with death will result in distrust of the medical system/
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Some Arguments Against Assistance with Death Assistance is outside the medical jurisdiction. Medicine is not in the business of promoting individual happiness and well being. Do no harm . A community is more than an aggregate of self-directing, self-determined individuals. The common good would be harmed in order to provide assistance to a few.
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Arguments Against Assistance with Death It is a fundamental wrong to give over one s life to another. Consenting adult killing is a strange route to human dignity. Cause vs. Intent. In withdrawal it is the natural course of disease that kills. In assistance with death it is physician s actions that cause death. Illogical to be competent and suffering at the same time.
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Arguments Against Assistance with Death Theoretical Slippery Slope—what is the argument for denying incompetent, incapable individuals who aren t dying, assistance with death? Practical Slippery Slope—States can t develop a system to put in proper safeguards Assistance may coerce old, poor to end life prematurely
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Arguments Against Assistance with Death There are medical mistakes in diagnosis and prognosis. The courts will be flooded with legal cases. Withdrawal and assistance are fundamentally different actions. Withdrawal is based on invasion not liberty . Withdrawal is omission not an action intended to kill .
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14 th Amendment Personal Rights, Liberty and Property Limits States rights granted by the 10 th Amendment States must proceed with due process —in a just manner, consistent with ordered liberty , they can t deny rights that would be shocking to the sense of justice of the civilized world States can t deny rights that neither liberty nor justice could exist if they are lost
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Oregon Death with Dignity Act Passed in 1994 Upheld in 1997 Upheld after Attorney General Challenge 2006 – Lethal drugs have no legitimate purpose – States regulate medicine
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