Jump to: navigation, search


4 bytes added, 20:24, 30 June 2007
Most [[libertarians]], many [[liberals]] and (particularly in [[Europe]]) some [[conservatives]] support legalization in some circumstances of ''voluntary euthanasia'', i.e. the termination of a dying patient's life upon his/her own explicit request. Voluntary euthanasia has been legalized in the [[Netherlands]], [[Belgium]], [[Switzerland]] and the US state of [[Oregon]]. Legalized euthanasia has limitations on when it may be used, such as the approval of a number of physicians when a terminally ill patient suffers from excruciating pain. Opponents of euthanasia maintain that this rarely constitutes an obstacle, as in practice all it requires is a few physicians to authorize it, and that legalization thus violates the [[sanctity of human life]]. They also fear legalization could be a slippery slope, leading to the planned and involuntary termination of all life that is deemed "unworthy", as in the [[Nazis]]' program to kill the mentally and physically handicapped. Proponents of legalized voluntary euthanasia, on the other hand, feel that a complete ban would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of some terminally ill patients and thus contravene the teachings of the [[Gospels]]. They believe that the rule of law in democratic societies prevents excesses such as the euthanasia program of Nazi Germany.
The widely reported withdrawal of a feeding tube from the disabled and comatose [[Terri Schiavo]], with a court order prohibiting anyone from bringing her water, is an example of ''involuntary euthanasia''. The [[Texas ]] Futile Care Law, which allows a medical provider to override a family's wishes and withhold lifesaving care, is an example of the legalization of non-proactive involuntary euthanasia in precisely circumscribed circumstances. <ref></ref>