Over the years, medicine has been revolutionized. Several methods of prolonging life have been established in recent years which, up till not long ago, would have been presumed impossible. Life support therapies nowadays utilize some combination of several techniques, namely feeding tubes, intravenous drips, total parenteral nutrition, mechanical respiration, heart and lung bypasses, urinary catheterization, and dialysis. Thus, as a result of these methods many lives are saved on a daily basis.
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Undoubtedly, these life support treatments have become invaluable regarding their positive effect on patients. At the same time, however, one cannot deny the fact that they are able to prolong life for a longer time than a patient may wish. Medical technology has advanced to the point where it can continue to support, without necessarily benefiting the patient, the vital functions of those who may be dying of a terminal illness or who have been reduced to a persistent vegetative state.......
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