AMA: Anti-Euthanasia, Pro-Pain Control - Pregnant Pause

Euthanasia has been a topic of debate since antiquity, and both sides stand firm on their beliefs.

Anti-euthanasia group speaks at right-to-die hearing - …

There is some doubt, however, about whether the Supreme Courtin its current configuration would be willing to extend a rightthat is not specifically stated in the Constitution to cover suchpractices (Gifford, p. 1576-77). In the Cruzan decision,the Court seemed quite willing to let questions of this naturebe settled by the states (Cruzan, p. 2842). As we have alreadyseen, the argument for privacy and autonomy has generated considerablesupport in the realm of passive euthanasia.

Arguments For and Against Euthanasia | CARE

It is the support that the courts have given to passive euthanasiathat provides the basis for a second and perhaps the most crucialargument. This is the argument that the passive/active distinctionmade by the courts and the medical profession is invalid, cannotbe made, and in actuality does not exist. If it can be proventhat this distinction is invalid, then all of the rights thatallow for passive euthanasia would then allow active euthanasiaas well. Advocates present a variety of different reasons forwhy the active/passive "bright line" cannot exist.

The linchpin argument of euthanasia proponents concerns theright to die. They contend that the individual has certain rightsguaranteed under the law and the Constitution that allow themto choose when they can die. These rights are generally arguedfrom the standpoint of autonomy or self-determination, or fromthe constitutional right to privacy. Proponents contend that individualliberty is a fundamental constitutional guarantee, and that theright to privacy protects the right of an individual to chooseto die. Wolhandler (entire article) argues forcefully that theconstitutional right to privacy elucidated in Griswold v. Connecticutand expanded in Roe v. Wade, also applies to euthanasia;thus protecting the individual from the purview of the state ifthat person chooses assisted suicide or active euthanasia. Healso argues that the protection of the right to self determinationis the key to democracy and the social contract on which thisnation is built when he says:


Euthanasia Response To Anti Euthanasia Essay Essays 1 …

On September 12, 1991, a statement was released by the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the statement centered on euthanasia. Since this statement is addressed both to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, I would like to reproduce it here. As it calls us to reject euthanasia, may it give us much food for thought. Here is how the letter begins:

Anti-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia | West Coast Pro-Life

Besides Kamisar, the risk of abuse argument has also been putforth by a host of other authors who variously claim that assistedsuicides might result in flagrant murders that may be perpetratedby deliberately forcing or coercing self-destruction and thatothers may advance personal motives by aiding in suicide (Adams,et. al., p. 2031); that when the entire medical profession isinvolved in euthanasia, including the poorly trained, the insensitive,the less skilled, there becomes the danger that physicians mightnot do whatever they can to avoid euthanasia if possible (Newman,p. 177); and that some people who enjoy the exercise of powerover others might become addicted to the process (Doerflinger,p. 19). It is this fear of abuse that leads the AMA's Councilon Ethical and Judicial Affairs to argue that the ban on activeeuthanasia is a bright line distinction that deters this typeof potential abuse. They state:

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Newman (1991) also attacks the concept of the slippery slopeitself, arguing that just pointing out that one type of actioncould conceivably lead to another constitutes a very unpersuasiveargument and that for the premise to hold true, it must be shownthat pressure to allow further steps will be so strong that thesesteps will actually occur. He also reminds us that such argumentsare frequently abused in legal and social policy debate (p. 169).

How is International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force abbreviated

"The Nazi's hid their racist, eugenic agenda behind theterm 'euthanasia,' terminating in secret the lives of 'undesirables.'It must never be forgotten that the Nazi 'euthanasia' programwas never euthanasia at all. That the Nazi's co-opted the termfor their own purposes should not obscure the fact that theirmotive was, from the very beginning, entirely different from thatof today's euthanasia proponents. The current euthanasia movementis anything but covert. The Hemlock Society and other supportersof the right to receive aid in dying have spent millions of dollarsto publicize their efforts. In this context, death is presentedas a positive alternative to pain and suffering, not a utilitariantool."

Proponentsof euthanasia also attempt to refute the slippery slope argumentin a variety of other ways. They contend that the current mechanismsused by the courts could easily prevent any slide toward involuntaryeuthanasia, that the currentpractice of passive euthanasia proves that the slope isn't allthat slippery since we haven't witnessed any massive killing programs,and that the example of how forced sterilization in the U.S. hasdiminished rather than increased, provides a more appropriateexample to rely on. Even Callahan (1989), a vocal opponent ofactive euthanasia, admits that the Nazi experience is not particularlyapplicable to the U.S. experience and that "Lives are notbeing shortened. They are steadily being lengthened, and particularlyfor those who are the most powerless: sick children and the veryold, the mentally and mentally retarded, the disabled and thedemented" (p. 4).