Margaret Somerville on why pulling the plug is not the same thing as euthanasia. As an observer of everything bioethics, I can tell you that the distinction is (a) real, and (b) relevant. I believe that a great deal of needless suffering is happening because people are afraid of “euthanizing grandma” by ceasing futile treatment. People die. The human species has a 100% death rate. Yet, we also have the medical means to keep people alive (i.e. breathing with a heartbeat) beyond their natural ability to do so. We need to understand the subtle yet critical difference between letting go and killing if we are to use the medical means at our disposal wisely and effectively.by
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