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A Critique of Neil Campbells Problem with Voluntary EuthanasiaDr Neil Campbell author of A Problem for the Idea of Voluntary Euthanasia questions whether there can be a such thing as voluntary euthanasia Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies Dr Campbells main argument is that if the pain and suffering are by definition unbearable then it seems clear enough that the decision to die is not freely chosen but is compelled by the pain Dr Campbell a Sessional Instructor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary believes there is no clear cut way to differentiate between voluntary and involuntary euthanasia under certain conditions Many would agree with Dr Campbell Campbell regarding this but we still must be sure we are exercising the true wishes of the patient His insight on physician-assisted suicide does pose a problem as stated in the title but what is the solution Further distinction between voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is not the solution There are always exceptions to the ruleIn his discussion Dr Campbell is aware that everyone is more concerned with the debates over active and inactive euthanasia but he believes that the real debate should be over voluntary and involuntary euthanasia No one is as concerned with this distinction because involuntary euthanasia is unacceptable despite any situation and that is why Dr Campbell wants the distinction to be taken seriously In the passage Dr Campbell uses the analogy between patients suffering extremes of pain who ask the doctor to assist in suicide and a prisoner who has been tortured for information The prisoner does not want to reveal any information but to make the pain stop he is compelled to talk Dr Campbell concludes that under the conditions of unbearable pain and suffering then if the concern of the agent is to alleviate the pain it seems to be a mistake to
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