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Effect of Beginning-of-Life and End-of-Life Decisions, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 506

Research Paper

The implication of tough ethical beginning-of-life and end-of-life decisions is that a human family or individual must play the role of God and decide when someone is born, or dies. Technology has made this a very complex issue. From embryonic stem cell research, assisted reproduction, prenatal diagnosis and resultant abortion, and cloning of human embryos, to standard life support procedures, the line between life and death has become very vague (A Guide to Beginning-of-life Issues | ReligionLink, p1). For example, if a child is born with severe handicaps, one might assume the child’s life will be too difficult to enjoy. This does not give the parent the right to choose whether he lives or dies, but if the new born can only live through incubation and life support, it could be argued that without the intervention of technology the child would not be living at all. Likewise, senior citizens looking to finalize their life through assisted suicide should not take the decision lightly, but it is also should be a decision that one can make legally without government intervention. As a study notes, “With advances in life support, the line between who is alive and who is dead has become Blurred (End of Life Care an Ethical Overview, p5).” The core implication of beginning-of-life and end-of-life decisions is that in many ways man has claimed one of God’s key functions whether he likes it or not.

How do these decisions affect the individual, the family, society, and health care providers?

These issues affect all stakeholders differently. For the deciding individual, they are put into the position of making a decision that they may regret for the rest of their life.  The family ultimately can be affected by losing or gaining a member, which at times could mean the difference between keeping a family closely knit or tearing them apart.“Death often comes with advanced age or serious illness. More than half of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to heart disease and cancer (End of Life Care an Ethical Overview, p5).”The study goes on to point out that when young people die, it’s usually due to accidents, homicide, suicide, cancer and heart disease, or HIV/AIDs. This means that society and health care providers as a whole are influenced in ways that can be conflicting. Often the media targets a certain form of death, or trigger for that for, like cigarettes causing cancer, or alcohol causing accidents. Usually targeting these issues has more to do with the corporation backing them than the issue itself. Likewise health care providers often benefit from promoting specific medications, or serving only those with high-end coverage. The decision to cut off life support or maintain it for someone with very limit health care coverage is different from one with an extensive high-end policy, as far as the health care provider is concerned.

Work Cited

“A Guide to Beginning-of-life Issues | ReligionLink.” ReligionLink. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2012. <http://www.religionlink.com/tip_080218.php>.

“End of Life Care An Ethical Overview.” Center for Bioethics University of Minnesota, 2005. Web. <http://www.ahc.umn.edu/img/assets/26104/End_of_Life.pdf>.

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