Saying What We Mean: The Redefining of Euthanasia
McCurdy, David B., The Christian Century
A subtle shift in habits of thought and language has infiltrated discussions of euthanasia and related issues. The prevalent understanding of euthanasia as an action or an omission of treatment motivated by mercy has been joined to - and sometimes replaced by - a conception of euthanasia as an economically motivated denial of medical treatment.
Not surprisingly, this shift occurs at a time when economic considerations are playing an increasing role in public policy discussions of the morality and legality of euthanasia. Economic arguments have long been employed both to support and to oppose public sanction of euthanasia. What has changed is that, in some instances, economic considerations have become part of the definition of euthanasia.
A clear example of this shift occurs in a New York Times op-ed piece addressing the congressional debate over Medicare reform. Burke J. Balch, a representative of the National Right to Life Committee, worries that private managed-care plans will lead to the rationing of life-sustaining medical treatments. In …
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Publication information: Article title: Saying What We Mean: The Redefining of Euthanasia. Contributors: McCurdy, David B. - Author. Magazine title: The Christian Century. Volume: 113. Issue: 22 Publication date: July 17, 1996. Page number: 708+. © 2009 The Christian Century Foundation. COPYRIGHT 1996 Gale Group.
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