Summary of Article
Article found on CQ Researcher
“Medical Ethics of Life and Death” by R. Thompson
Original Publication in Editorial Research Reports 1984
This article opened up a great amount of insight to me that has given me more clarity on the issue. One of the first points in the article that jumped out was the fact that more and more people are dying in hospitals and nursing homes, or hospices, as opposed being sent home to die as patients did in the past. It also stood out when the author mentioned that the patient has the final say in whether or not they want to receive treatment, when they are able to make that decision. We all have the right to refuse treatment, but we also need to remember those who cannot make the decisions for themselves. The author identifies this group as those who are comatose, infants, and even those who suffer from mental retardation, and who should be in charge of determining their lives, is something that he reflects on. He goes on to discuss that treatment should be given to benefit the patient. Overall, the author recognizes the laws that are in place and that we do have to abide by those, but he also proposes questions about where we are to draw the line and who is in charge of making the decisions of someone’s life.
I found this article valuable to my research because it provided an enormous amount of detailed information. The article included many great quotes and thoughts on medical ethics that I was unaware of, but have helped me understand the issue more clearly. Although, it did make me question my own thoughts on euthanasia, and this is why I am still looking for an article that can help me define what people are eligible and where euthanasia could be used. I still feel like I am searching a gray area, but I look forward to finding an article that will represent a more clear black and white answer.