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Brief Look at Euthanasia- Euthanasia is one of the most acute and uncomfortable contemporary problems in medical ethics Is Euthanasia Ethical The case for euthanasia rests on one main fundamental moral principle mercy It is not a new issue euthanasia has been discussed-and practised-in both Eastern and Western cultures from the earliest historical times to the present But because of medicines new technological capacities to extend life the problem is much more Euthanasia is a way of granting mercy-both by direct killing and by letting the person die This principle of mercy establishes two component duties 1 the duty not to cause further pain or suffering and 2 the duty to act to end pain or suffering already occurring Under the first of these for a physician or other caregiver to extend mercy to a suffering patient may mean to refrain from procedures that cause further suffering-provided of course that the treatment offers the patient no overriding benefits The ph s performed even though a patients survival is highly unlikely although patients in arrest are unconscious at the time of resuscitation it can be a brutal procedure and if the patient regains consciousness its aftermath can involve considerable pain In many such cases the patient will die whether or not the treatments are performed In some cases however the principle of mercy may also demand withholding treatment that could extend the patients life if the treatment is itself painful or discomf The principle of mercy may also demand letting die in a still stronger sense Under its second component the principle asserts a duty to act to end suffering that is already occurring Medicine already honours this duty through its various techniques Ending the pain though with it the life may be
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