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regulation and reform of euthanasia

Regulation and Reform of Euthanasia Throughout the twentieth century, major scientific and medical advances have greatly enhanced the life expectancy of the average person. However, there are many instances where doctors can preserve life artificially. In these cases, where the patient suffers from a terminal disease or remains in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), the question becomes whether to prolong their life even though it may consist of pain and suffering. One of the landmark cases that involve euthanasia is that of Karen Ann Quinlan. Quinlan, a twenty-one year old New Jersey resident, overdosed on pills and alcohol in 1975. She was rushed to the hospital where her physical condition gradually deteriorated to a vegetative state. The doctors determined she had no chance of recovery. Karens parents requested she be removed from the respirator. The hospital denied their request. The Quinlans then directed their request to the court. The superior court denied their request. They took their request to the new Jersey Supreme court where the decision was reversed. Karen was removed from the respirator. To everyones surprise, Karen began breathing on her own and "was transferred to a nursing home, where she remained in a coma, fed through tubes, until she died in July 1985, ten years later" (Humphry and Wickett, 108).The Quinlan case brought to the forefront patients desire to die a proud, quiet death and the complications caused by the advancement of medical technology to prolong life. Individuals should have the right to "die with dignity" in the event of a terminal illness if he or she wants to. Those who oppose legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide say that this could lead to voluntary killing of the aged and infirm. I agree that there may be danger of abuse of euthanasia; therefore, I support passing legislation that monitors and regulates physician assisted suicide. In order to clarify my position, I will fi...

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