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Euthanasia Euthanasia is the deliberate ending of life of a person suffering from an incurable disease. It is also called mercy killing. Much of society today is in favor of euthanasia because they think we have the right to decide for ourselves if it is right to terminate someone’s life. The more widely held opinion is against euthanasia primarily because society feels that we as human beings are in no position to behave as God and end someone’s life. The double edge-sword of euthanasia is that while proponents say it puts an end to useless suffering, those who object believe its inherent evil is that it will put an end to “useless” people. The potential effects of a legalized practice of euthanasia are serious. The improvement in terminal care is a direct result of attempts made to minimize suffering. If that suffering had been terminated by killing the patients who bore it, then we may never have known the advances in the control of pain, nausea, breathlessness, and other terminal symptoms that the last twenty years have seen. Some diseases that were terminal a few decades ago are now easily cured by newly developed treatments. This means that if we accept euthanasia now, we may never discover effective treatments for those diseases that are now terminal. Every doctor can tell stories of being proven wrong in their prognosis’ to patients or of people who were diagnosed as terminally ill and recover. Imagine, if euthanasia were legal, most of those people would have died. That is a major risk too great to take. Pressure on the patient is a cause of many deaths. Plenty of patients feel guilty for imposing burdens on those who care for them, even when the families are happy to bear the burden. The result is a request for euthanasia and the death of a great many patients who do not wish to die. Much of today’s health care is provided through managed care and health maintenance organizations (HMO’s). Under this system, doctors and hospitals receive more money for doing less for a patient. The economics of this system could be very open to “cost effective” mercy killings. It may seem an over dramatic analogy, but “Dr. Death” or Jack Kevorkian, in his testimony at his trial for murdering a man, said that what he did provided “a final solution” for his patient. Adolf Hitler also believed in providing a “final solution.” Euthanasia is abused and will be further abused if it is legalized more. In the Netherlands, it is practiced publicly. Abuses arise when a patient is wealthy and an inheritance is at stake, when t

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