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ARTICLE |

Euthanasia and the Right to Death: The Case for Voluntary Euthanasia

Samuel Enoch Stumpf, PhD
JAMA. 1970;214(8):1567. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080147041.
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ABSTRACT

This slim volume—11 perceptive essays by eminent authorities in the fields of medicine, law, theology, government and philosophy—constitutes a many-faceted "case for voluntary euthanasia." These essays seek to focus upon a single objective —the moral right of a person to decide for himself when his life shall be terminated. A sharp distinction is made between voluntary euthanasia, on the one hand, and "mercy killing" on the other. These advocates of voluntary euthanasia dissociate themselves from those who would urge the taking of life, by the state, of the senile, the mentally defective, or the incurable. These authors argue that certain basic humane values lead to the moral conclusion that each person should have the freedom to choose "between a dignified and a squalid death." Just as we exercise control over natural forces to secure a patient's health, so also, the argument runs, rational management of the end of life should

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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