A Plea for "Eu Thanatos"
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The author interned in social work at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI where she learned first hand how one hospital handles Do Not Resuscitate orders and other ethical issues. The author discusses the issue of euthanasia in the United States and addresses the questions: Who should decide? What options should society permit? When should society intervene? In the twentieth century the issue of euthanasia has compromised the care of patients, according to the author. Conflict exists among the aims of the physicians, hospitals and the wishes of the patient. The power to decide patient care should be redefined, personal physicians should have more power and the specialists should have less. In the regard of individual choices for care and death, society should not intervene except under the circumstances mentioned earlier. One should ultimately consider the kind of society in which one wants to live and die.