Euthanasia: The Moral Issues

By Robert M. Baird; Stuart E. Rosenbaum | Go to book overview

18
The Case for Active Voluntary Euthanasia

Statement Drafted by Gerald A. Larue

We, the undersigned, declare our support for the decriminalization of medically induced active euthanasia when requested by the terminally ill.

We acknowledge that techniques developed by modern medicine have been beneficial in improving the quality of life and increasing longevity, but they have sometimes been accompanied by harmful and dehumanizing effects. We are aware that many terminally ill persons have been kept alive against their will by advanced medical technologies, and that terminally ill patients have been denied assistance in dying. In attempting to terminate their suffering by ending their lives themselves or with the help of loved ones not trained in medicine, some patients have botched their suicides and brought further suffering on themselves and those around them. We believe that the time is now for society to rise above the archaic prohibitions of the past and to recognize that terminally ill individuals have the right to choose the time, place, and manner of their own death.

We respect the opinions of those who declare that only the deity should determine the moment of death, or who find some spiritual merit in suffering, but we reject their arguments. We align ourselves with those who are committed to the defense of human rights, human

____________________
From Free Inquiry 9, No. I (Winter 1988-89). Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

-159-

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