Legalize Medical Euthanasia in the USA
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Euthanasia has been a conflict that has existed in our society for decades. The euthanasia debate has brought into question the role of social and public institutions such as hospitals whose responsibility was to serve their patients. Active euthanasia first became introduced to society in 1870 when Samuel Williams published a paper on the concept of ‘medicalised’ euthanasia. Allocentric doctors like Williams believed that it was a social responsibility to act in the interest of the patient as they believed it was unethical to force them to take specific treatments.
Euthanasia is considered to be a social problem due to its wide-reaching implications and discriminatory nature. It has been a consistent subject of debate for centuries and has happened repeatedly throughout generations, proving it can be considered a social problem. In addition, euthanasia affects a large proportion of society. It not only affects patients, but also families of the patients, physicians, hospital staff, and the general public.
The antiquated euthanasia policy that exists in the status quo must change to reflect not only the changing desires of the people but the changing needs of the people. The current policies banning euthanasia impose a large emotional and economic burden on our country. Senior citizens are forced to live their final days in agonizing pain without any medical reprieve, and families are helpless in aiding their loved ones. Meanwhile, large sums of money are spent on expensive end-of-life hospice care in the futile hopes of elongating certain lives while these resources could be spent expanding healthcare for younger citizens who contribute to the economy, thereby increasing the general welfare of the country. Euthanasia must be legalized. It is time for a drastic policy shift.
Allowing terminal patients to choose euthanasia would allow hospitals to save substantial resources currently dedicated towards hospice, or end of life, care. It would also create a market for euthanasia drugs which in and of itself would add additional assets to the economy and the market. From a sociological perspective, this legislation addresses the concern that many religious groups have in that it condones ending someone’s life. Given that the patients that this bill focuses on are terminally ill patients, those concerns would not hold sway. It would also alleviate the concerns that many families with terminally ill family members have in that they want a peaceful end and resolution for their loved one’s life.
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