It is this sudden change in the way Americans are dealing withdeath, the nature and scope of the debate about dying, which promptsthis analysis of the issues surrounding euthanasia. This debateis largely a debate about what is ethical. Questions the debateattempts to answer include: Is it right to commit suicide? Isit ethical for someone else to help? Is it right to put othersto death at their own request or at the request of family members?These questions are important because they help to define oursociety and our culture. The way people deal with and respondto issues of life, ritual, and death serves to shape the natureof our society. This is why society must attempt to decide whatis right; what is ethical conduct for the various actors in ourcommunities when we face death.


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