Mercy Killing

In June of 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a 63-year-old retired pathologist, was charged with first-degree murder after he helped an Oregon woman with Alzheimer's disease commit suicide in June 1990. The charge was dismissed in December 1990. (Michigan has no law against suicide.) In October of 1991, Marjorie Wantz used a suicide machine devised by Kevorkian to take her own life. Kevorkian also assisted Sherry Miller in an act of suicide by pulling a mask over her face so she would inhale carbon monoxide from a tank. Miller's veins were too delicate for a needle involved in Kevorkian's suicide machine. The police found both bodies in a cabin 40 miles north of Detroit. Miller was incapacitated ...

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this type of information.
These cases illustrate the fact that the rise of advanced medical technologies, especially life-sustaining ones, has brought to center stage the various moral issues involved in euthanasia. People can be kept alive against their wishes or in states of pain and other forms of suffering (e.g., loss of control, fatigue, depression, and hopelessness). It is also possible to keep people alive who are in a coma or a persistent vegetative state. The former refers to a condition wherein the eyes are closed, the person cannot be aroused, and there is no sleep/wake cycle. The latter refers to a condition wherein there is no awareness (including awareness of pain and suffering), no rationality or emotionality, the eyes are open, and there is a wake/sleep cycle. In cases like this, the use of medical technologies raises questions about the moral appropriateness of sustaining life versus taking life or allowing someone to die.1
The major life-sustaining ...

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death" or "good death." Roughly speaking, there are two major views about euthanasia. The traditional view holds that it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being, but that given certain circumstances it is permissible to withhold or withdraw treatment and allow a patient to die. A more recent, radical view is embraced by groups such as the Hemlock Society and the Society for the Right to Die. It denies that there is a morally significant distinction between passive and active euthanasia (defined below) that allows the former and forbids the latter. Accordingly, this view argues that mercy killing, assisted suicide, and the like are permissible.
The issues ...

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Mercy Killing. (2011, March 23). Retrieved January 17, 2019, from
"Mercy Killing.", 23 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 Jan. 2019. <>
"Mercy Killing." March 23, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2019.
"Mercy Killing." March 23, 2011. Accessed January 17, 2019.
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Added: 3/23/2011 02:02:07 PM
Submitted By: parmar
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 5522
Pages: 21

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