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At any one time over 10000 patients in Canada are in a permanently vegetativeState Bender 34 In addition thousands of profoundly handicapped infants are born each year As life-sustaining medical technology continues to improve and lengthen the process of dying those numbers willsteadily increase This along with several other factors is why euthanasia should be legalized throughoutAllowing doctors to administer a lethal dose is much more merciful to dying patients than allowing them todie slowly and painfully from a terminal disease Everyone must die And almost everyone comes to apoint where they or a loved one knows they are dying and must decide what to do Euthanasia will meanthe act of ending the life of a person from compassionate motives when heshe is already terminally ill orwhen his suffering has become unbearablePeople who perhaps because of a serious illness or perhaps for reasons unrelated to their illness are extremely depressed and say they want to die These people are not different than anyone else who thinks about suicide -- they just have medical problems in addition to their emotional or psychological problems Some ill people become frustrated that they cannot lead the kind of active lives that they used to before their illness Some feel guilty about being a burden on their family Voluntary euthanasia is unnecessary because alternative treatments exist It is widely believed that thre are only two options open to patients with terminal illness either they die slowly in unrelieved suffering or they receive euthanasia Barnard 1 In fact there is a middle way that of creative and compassionate caring Meticulous research in Palliative medicine has in recent years shown that virtually all unpleasant symptoms experienced in the process of terminal illness can be either relieved or substantially alleviated techniques already available Cassel 45A patient with a terminal illness is vulnerable They lack the knowledge and skills toalleviate their own symptoms and may well be suffering from fear about the future andanxiety
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