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24 F Canada
speaks English and French
Last login: 21 September 2008
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Member since: 25 August 2007
 The Beef Brief.
People request euthanasia or assisted suicide if suffering is unrelieved; however, it is argued that patients stop asking to have their lives foreshortened when their symptoms are well controlled. The claim that a suffering individual has a right to die (i.e. receive euthanasia or assisted suicide) is discussed; however, the concept that an individual has a right to die is rejected on the basis that death is an inevitability, not a right. It is argued that the rejection of values, such as the sanctity of life and the intrinsic value of life, and the acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide erode the moral and social foundations of society. The practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands is critically discussed, including: Dutch legislation, the decline in the number of reported cases of euthanasia and evidence of involuntary euthanasia. The doctrine of double effect is considered in relation to the use of opiates, and it is argued that appropriate use of opiates does not foreshorten life; indeed, it may even extend life. Finally, it is observed that rejection of euthanasia and assisted suicide by nurses and doctors results in a duty to relieve patient suffering. Experts in Palliative care need to disseminate specialist knowledge of holistic care and symptom control so that all dying people receive appropriate terminal care.


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