Ethical Arguments Against Euthanasia

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“Laws shape the ethos of a culture by affecting cultural attitudes toward certain behaviors and influencing moral norms” (Kheriaty n. pag.). Euthanasia, more commonly known as physician assisted suicide, has been around since the time of Hippocrates. The laws surrounding it, however, have been a topic of many public debates in the last few decades. Modern medicine has made the ethical decision of whether euthanasia is right or wrong not as easy. This is seen as the public has voted on it in multiple cases with differing outcomes. Even though euthanasia is illegal in the majority of the United States, the following states have legalized it: Montana, Colorado, California, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington. Euthanasia should not be legalized in…show more content…
The law requires that the patient say twice that they want the procedure and once in writing with at least two weeks in between. The patients also need to take their own pills (Karaim n. pag.). Although those help to monitor doctor’s abuse of the law, there are some deficiencies. Dr. Herbert Hendin, a professor of psychiatry, points out that patients do not have to undergo a psychiatric assessment and says, “The idea that hundreds of people have received aid in dying without formal psychiatric evaluation or counseling undercuts the claim the law is being used solely by people making competent choices [...]” (Karaim n. pag.). By the patients not having the judgement of a professional on their mental stability, there is no way to ensure they are able to make the proper decision. Therefore, the written and verbal confirmations could possibly come from an individual who is affected by something mentally out of their control, making them unviable. Not only does the law not require a mental state analysis, it also does not make having a third-party witness present mandatory. Unlike other laws already in place, such as the requirement for marriage to have at least one witness sign the marriage certificate,“[...] the laws don’t require an independent witness present when a person is taking the prescription, so there is no way to be sure every dose is…show more content…
The article “Assisted-Suicide Laws’ Contagious Effect” says, “Consider what social scientists call the Werther effect - the fact that publicized cases of suicide can produce clusters of copycat cases, often disproportionately affecting young people, who frequently use the same method as the original case” (Kheriaty n. pag.). The laws shape the beliefs of a society as well as people influencing other through their actions. Portraying the news of euthanasia cases could lead to a widespread use of the procedure. People could see it as a good option or that some lives are not worth living. The Werther effect, as stated above, affects mostly the younger portion of the population. That is what would lead to the widespread acceptance of suicide as that generation is the one to be in power and shape the future of society. The people who choose physician assisted suicide are not portrayed as the typical suicide victim. Contrasting to shame that some suicide victims receive, “[i]t is demoralizing to note that these guidelines were widely ignored in the reporting of recent instances of assisted suicide, with the subject's decision to end his or her life frequently presented in the media as inspiring and even heroic” (Kheriaty n. pag.). The media has a large influence on today’s society at all age groups. The media portrays events in a way that can sway the

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