Submission Date

7-21-2017

Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Department

Philosophy

Faculty Mentor

Kelly Sorensen

Comments

Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

The preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence states that, as citizens, we have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But it is time to consider arguments about whether we should have the legal permission to forfeit or “alienate” the supposedly inalienable right to life after all, at least in some circumstances. The Netherlands and the state of Oregon have already created laws to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives. However there are many differences between the Netherlands and Oregon in terms of how the laws are applied, the methods used to aid a patient in dying, and who qualifies for aid. I plan on using arguments for and against aid in dying to analyze whether it is ethical to aid a patient in dying. I shall then offer arguments to explain my own perspective on aid in dying while intertwining aspects of the laws from Oregon and the Netherlands to strengthen my position. Through this information I shall then create my ideal set of criteria for medical staff and individuals to use in cases of requests for aid in dying.

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