Date of Award

6-2013

Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Leo Zaibert

Language

English

Keywords

patients, right to die, end of life, euthanasia

Abstract

In this thesis, I argue that, with certain procedural safeguards in place, physician‐assisted death (PAD) and euthanasia are morally permissible and should be an option for terminally ill patients. The first chapter introduces the history of PAD and euthanasia in the United States focusing on Oregon and Washington. Chapter two focuses on PAD in The Netherlands. Chapter three reviews philosophical arguments regarding PAD and details certain procedural safeguards such as medical friendships, consultations, and multiple opinions, which help to guarantee the moral acceptability of PAD and euthanasia. These safeguards also contribute to a relationship of beneficence from the physician to her patient. In addition, I will analyze ways in which PAD and euthanasia can be carried out without traveling down the slippery slope toward killing another human beings against their wishes. I also respond to criticisms of the Oregon Law set forth by Kathleen Foley, M.D. and Herbert Hendin, M.D.. In the conclusion, I take stock and I will summarize the ways in which my thesis addresses the most common arguments against PAD and euthanasia.

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