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Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Life is a precious gift that is to be received from the Creator with gratitude It should be cherished preserved and enhanced in every way possible But when the potential for meaningful joyful desirable life has been thoroughly exhausted and every effort made to prevent the inevitable we should make it legally possible for the merciful to show mercy to the dying who request intervention to end their suffering The only appropriate way to make this claim is with deep humility and in fear and trembling We must always stand in awe and reverence when life itself is at stake As Dr Timothy Quill has said anyone who thinks this question has a simple or obvious answer has not thought very deeply or seriously about the matter Those who oppose the legalizing of physician-assisted death make arguments and voice fears that are formidable indeed Nevertheless I conclude that the stronger case rests with those who advocate the legalizing of assisted death under carefully regulated conditions This paper consists of several parts First I present the main arguments for and against assisted death While the current controversy centers on providing medicines or other means that patients can use to end their lives physician-assisted suicide I also make a case for physician-administered death voluntary active euthanasia in which the doctor gives a lethal injection or other medicines that cause death I use the term assisted death to cover both After that I offer more extended treatments of the major objections and make the positive case In Part 1 I reject some of the common objections made against it In Part 2 I state arguments in favor of the practice Finally I contend that the dilemmas ambiguities complexities and tragedies involved in these life and death issues point to a religious resolution beyond everything that law medicine and morality can provide Part 1 Arguments Against 1 It violates Medical
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