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Appendix to David Estill's essay:
"Canadian legislation and euthanasia: Can society tell us how to die?"

Glossary of medical terms & works cited

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Glossary of medical terms

  • A.L.S. (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) commonly called ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ is a degenerative disease that attacks the nervous system. Early signs include a patient being unable to walk and talk, late stage patients require a respirator and a gastrotomy.

  • Atresia of the digestive tract: total or partial obstruction of the digestive tract. Fatal if left untreated.

  • Esophageal: Pertaining to the esophagus, the section of your neck that carries food to your stomach.

  • Extubation: The process of removing the tube that has been down a patients throat and has been facilitating their breathing

  • Gastrotomy: A device which performs the function of the stomach, essentially it ‘eats’ for a person. Used when a patient is unable to digest food by himself/herself.

  • Intubation: The process of putting a tube into a patient to facilitate their breathing.

  • Potassium Chloride: A chemical compound which when administered to the human system is almost instantly fatal. All but untraceable in the system after death.

  • Respirator: A device which performs the work of the lungs. Allows patients that cannot breathe on their own a chance for survival.

  • Tracheotomy: A procedure that involves the removal of the trachea (windpipe) and insertion of a tube to allow a patient to keep breathing.

  • Trisomy 21: The occurance of a third chromosome in the 21 chromosome position. Produces the condition ‘Down’s Syndrome’.

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Works Cited:

Bachman, J.G, et al “Attitudes of Michigan Physicians and the Public Towards Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia” New England Journal of Medicine 334:5 (1996): 303-309.

Beauchamp, T.L., Veatch, R. M. Ethical Issues in Death and Dying Second Edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River: (1996).

Brodie, G.E. “The Problematic Moral Arguments in the Sue Rodriguez Case”. University Faculty for Life (1999): 41-57.

Canada. Department of Justice. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ottawa, 1982.

Canada. Department of Justice. The Constitution Act (1982). Ottawa, 1982.

Canada. Department of Justice. The Criminal Code. Ottawa, 1985.

Canada. Law Reform Commission of Canada. Protection of Life: Euthanasia, aiding suicide and cessation of treatment. Ottawa, 1982.

Canadian College of Physicians and Surgeons: Discipline, November/December 1995. (1995).

Edge, R.S, Groves, J.R. Ethics of Health Care:A guide for clinical practice. Thompson University Press (2006).

Emanuel, E. J. “The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain” The Annals of Internal Medicine 121:10 (1994): 793-802

Gorman, D. “Active and Passive Euthanasia: The cases of Dr. Claudio Alberto  de la Rocha and Dr. Nancy Morrison”. Canadian Medical Association Journal: 160.6 (1999): 857-869

Horan, D., Mall, D. (eds) Death, Dying and Euthanasia. University Publications of America, Inc. Washington: (1977).

Keown, J. (ed.) Euthanasia Examined: ethical, clinical and legal perspectives. Cambridge University Press (1995).

Lamer, La Forest, L’Heureux-Dubé, Sopinka, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci, Major. Department of Justice. Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attourney General) File No.: 23476. pp.519-539.

Lavery, J.V., Singer, P.A. ‘The “Supremes” decide on assisted suicide: What should a doctor do?’ Canadian Medical Association Journal: 157.4 (1997): 405-406.

Palmer, L. I. “The Legal and Political Future of Physician-Assisted Suicide” Journal of the American Medical Association 289:17. (2006): 2283

Pankratz, H.R. C. “Critical Issues: The Sue Rodriguez Decision: Concerns of a Primary Care Physician” Humane Medicine 6.11 (2006).

Sneiderman, B. and Deutscher, R. “Dr. Morrison and her dying patient: a case of necessity.” Health Law Journal (2003).

Smith, M et al “Euthanasia and Cessation of Treatment” Library of Parliament Current Issue Review. (1993)

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Originally posted on 2010-NOV-19
Latest update on: 2010-NOV-19
Written by David J. Enstill

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