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        2019年10月自考英语备考:英语二阅读辅导(二)

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          Euthanasia: For and Against

          "We mustn't delay any longer … swallowing is difficult … and breathing, that's also difficult. Those muscles are weakening too … we mustn't delay any longer."These were the words of Dutchman Cees van Wendel de Joode asking his doctor to help him die. Affected with a serious disease, van Wendel was no longer able to speak clearly and he knew there was no hope of recovery and that his condition was rapidly deteriorating.

          Van Wendel's last three months of life before being given a final, lethal injection by his doctor were filmed and first shown on television last year in the Netherlands. The programme has since been bought by 20 countries and each time it is shown, it starts a nationwide debate on the subject.

          The Netherlands is the only country in Europe which permits euthanasia, although it is not technically legal there. However, doctors who carry out euthanasia under strict guidelines introduced by he Dutch Parliament two years ago are usually not prosecuted.

          The guidelines demand that the patient is experiencing extreme suffering, that there is no chance of a cure, and that the patient has made repeated requests for euthanasia. In addition to this, a second doctor must confirm that these criteria have been met and the death must be reported to the police department.

          Should doctors be allowed to take the lives of others? Dr.Wilfred van Oijen, Cees van Wendel's doctor, explains how he looks at the question:"Well, it's not as if I'm planning to murder a crowd of people with a machine gun. In that case, killing is the worst thing I can imagine. But that's entirely different from my work as a doctor. I care for people and I try to ensure that they don't suffer too much. That's a very different thing."

          Many people, though, are totally against the practice of euthanasia. Dr. Andrew Ferguson, Chairman of the organisation Healthcare Opposed to Euthanasia, says that "in the vast majority of euthanasia cases, what the patient is actually asking for is something else. They may want a health professional to open up communication for them with their loved ones or family - there's nearly always another question behind the question."

          Britain also has a strong tradition of hospices - special hospitals which care only for the dying and their special needs.

          Cicely Saunders, President of the National Hospice Council and a founder member of the hospice movement, argues that euthanasia doesn't take into account that there are ways of caring for the dying. She is also concerned that allowing euthanasia would undermine the need for care and consideration of a wide range of people: "It's very easy in society now for the elderly, the disabled and the dependent to feel that they are burdens, and therefore that they ought to opt out. I think that anything that legally allows the shortening of life does make those people more vulnerable."

          Many find this prohibition of an individual's right to die paternalistic. Although they agree that life is important and should be respected, they feel that the quality of life should not be ignored. Dr. Van Oijen believes that people have the fundamental right to choose for themselves if they want to die: "What those people who oppose euthanasia are telling me is that dying people haven't the right. And that when people are very ill, we are all afraid of their death. But there are situations where death is a friend. And is those cases, why not?"

          But "why not?" is a question which might cause strong emotion. The film showing Cees van Wendel's death was both moving and sensitive. His doctor was clearly a family friend; his wife had only her husband's interests at heart. Some, however, would argue that it would be dangerous to use this particular example to support the case for euthanasia. Not all patients would receive such a high level of individual care and attention.

          安乐死:赞同还是反对

          "我们再也不能耽误了,……我难以咽下食物……呼吸也有困难……,浑身疲乏无力,……不要再拖了。"荷兰人齐斯·范·温德尔临死前请求医生帮助他一死了之时说了这番话。

          他因身患重病,说话已经不很清楚,他知道自己毫无康复的希望了,而且病情正在迅速恶化。在接受医生注射那致命的最后一针之前,范·温德康最后三个月的生活被拍成了电影,去年在荷兰的电视台首次播出。此后,有20个国家先后购买了这个电视节目,每在一国放映,都会在全国内引起一场对安乐死的议论。

          荷兰是欧洲维一的允许安乐死的国家。尽管安乐死在技术上还不具有合法性,但如果医生按照两年前荷兰议会制定的议案的严格指导原则实施用安乐死,但如果医生按照两年前荷兰议会制定的议案的严格指导原则实施用安乐死,通常是不会受到法律的追究的。这些指导原则规定,当病人极度痛苦,没有治愈的可能,而且一再要求的情况下才能实施安乐死。另外,还必须有第二位名医生证实已经符合上述条件,并且要向警察机关报告病人的死亡。

          能允许医生结束他人的生命吗?齐斯·范·温德尔的私人医生威尔弗雷德·冯·奥依金解释了他对这个问题的看法"哦,这种情况和我计划用机关枪杀死一大群人完全不一样。若是那样,杀人是我所能想象的最可怕的事。但我作为医生实施安乐死和用枪杀人是蕝对不同的。我是关心人,我要尽量保证他们不受更多痛苦。这和那种情况完全是两码事。"

          然而,仍然有很多人坚决反对使用安乐死。"反安乐死健康医疗"组织的主席安德鲁·福格森说:"在使用安乐死的大多数病例中,患者实际上需要的是其他的东西。他们可能需要在健康专家的指导下,与所爱的人或家人进行交流。"英国晚期病人收容所有着牢固的传统,一种专门护理垂危病人并满足他们特殊需要的特殊医院。国家收容所委员会主席和收容运动的发起人茜西莉·桑德斯认为,使用安乐死把护理垂危病人的其他方式都排除了。她还担心允许使用安乐死会减少很多人对于照顾和关心的要求。"在今天的社会里,这样很容易使老年人、残疾人和靠他人生活的人们感到自己是社会的负担,应该从生活中消失掉。我觉得法律上任何允许缩短人们生命和作法都会使那些人变得更容易受伤害。"

          很多人发现禁止一个人选择死亡的权利是没有道理的。尽管他们也认为生命很重要,并且应当尊重生命,但是生活的质量也不容忽视。范·奥依金医生认为如果人们想死,他们应当有选择死亡的权利:"那些反对使用安乐死的人们是在告诉我们要死亡的人没有这种权利。当他们病重时,我们害怕他们会死去。但是有的情况下死亡是人们的朋友。在那种情况下,为什么不使用安乐死呢?"

          但"为什么不呢?"是一个会引起强烈的情感的问题。那部反映齐斯·范·温德尔死亡情景的电影既感人又发人深醒。很显然,这位医生是他们一家人的朋友;温德尔的妻子也是一心为丈夫好。然而,有些人争论说用这种特殊事例来支持安乐死是危险的。再说,不是所有的病人都会受到如此周到的个别护理和关注。

          Advantage Unfair

          According to the writer Walter Ellis, author of a book called the Oxbridge Conspiracy, Britain is still dominated by the old-boy network: it isn't what you know that matters, but who you know. He claims that at Oxford and Cambridge Universities (Oxbridge for short) a few select people start on an escalator ride which, over the years, carries them to the tops of British privilege and power. His research revealed that the top professions all continue to be dominated, if not 90 per cent, then 60 or 65 per cent, by Oxbridge graduates.

          And yet ,says Ellis, Oxbridge graduates make up only two per cent of the total number of students who graduate from Britain's universities. Other researches also seem to support his belief that Oxbridge graduates start with an unfair advantage in the employment market. In the law, a recently published report showed that out of 26 senior judges appointed to the High Court last year, all of them went to private schools and 21 of them went to Oxbridge.

          But can this be said to amount to a conspiracy? Not according to Dr. John Rae, a former headmaster of one of Britain's leading private schools, Westminster:"I would accept that there was a bias in some key areas of British life, but that bias has now gone. Some time ago - in the 60s and before - entry to Oxford and Cambridge was not entirely on merit. Now, there's absolutely no question in any objective observer's mind that entry to Oxford and Cambridge is fiercely competitive."However, many would disagree with this. For, although over three-quarters of British pupils are educated in state schools, over half the students that go to Oxbridge have been to private, or "public" schools. Is this because pupils from Britain's private schools are more intelligent than those from state schools, or are they simply better prepared?

          On average, about £5,000 a year is spent on each private school pupil, more than twice the amount spent on state school pupils. So how can the state schools be expected to compete with the private schools when they have far fewer resources? And how can they prepare their pupils for the special entrance exam to Oxford University, which requires extra preparation, and for which many public school pupils traditionally stay at school and do an additional term?

          Until recently, many blamed Oxford for this bias because of the university's special entrance exam (Cambridge abolished its entrance exam in 1986). But last February, Oxford University decided to abolish the exam to encourage more state school applicants. From autumn 1996, Oxford University applicants, like applicants to other universities, will be judged only on their A level results and on their performance at interviews, although some departments might still set special tests.

          However, some argue that there's nothing wrong in having elite places of learning, and that by their very nature, these places should not be easily accessible. Most countries are run by an elite and have centres of academic excellence from which the elite are recruited.

          Walter Ellis accepts that this is true:"But in France, for example, there are something like 40 equivalents of university, which provide this elite through a much broader base. In America you've got the Ivy League, centred on Harvard and Yale, with Princeton and Stanford and others. But again, those universities together - the elite universities - are about ten or fifteen in number, and are being pushed along from behind by other great universities like, for example, Chicago and Berkeley. So you don't have just this narrow concentration of two universities providing a constantly replicating elite."

          When it comes to Oxford and Cambridge being elitist because of the number of private school pupils they accept, Professor Stone of Oxford University argues that there is a simple fact he and his associates cannot ignore:"If certain schools do better than others then we just have to accept it. We cannot be a place for remedial education. It's not what Oxford is there to do."

          However, since academic excellence does appear to be related to the amount of money spent per pupil. This does seem to imply that Prime Minister John Major's vision of Britain as a classless society is still a long way off. And it may be worth remembering that while John Major didn't himself go to Oxbridge, most of his ministers did.

          不公平的优势

          据《牛津剑桥阴谋帮派》一书作者沃尔特·埃利斯所说,英国如今仍然处于老同学关系网的控制下:你懂什么并不重要,重要的是认识谁。他声称在牛津大学和剑桥大学求学的少数精英一开始便平步青云,扶摇直上,几年之内,就登上了特权和权力的顶峰。他的调查结果显示,英国高级职能部门仍然由牛津和剑桥的毕业生控制着,如果没有90%,至少也有60或者65%。

          埃利斯指出,牛津、剑桥的毕业生只占英国大学毕业生总数的2%。其他的研究者似乎也证明了这一点,即牛津、剑桥的毕业生一开始就在劳动市场上占据着不公平的优势。最近公布的一份调查结果显示:在法律界,去年任命的26名高级法官都就读过私立学校,其中21人曾就读过牛津和剑桥。

          但仅凭这些就能说是一个阴谋帮派吗?根据英国一家有代表性的私立学校--威斯敏斯特的前任校长约翰·雷博士的看法,情况并不是这样的:"我承认过去英国的某些重要领域内存在着偏见,可如今这种偏见已经不存在了。一段时间以前--即60年工或更早的时候进牛津、剑桥并不完全是凭本事的。而现在,在任何能够客观看问题的人的眼里,毫无疑问,去牛津和剑桥读书竞争理很激烈的。"

          然而,很多人都不同意这种说法。尽管有3/4的英国毕业生就读于公立学校,而上牛津剑桥的学生中有半数以上的人曾就读于私立学校,即"公学"。难道这是因为英国私立学校的学生比公立学校的学生更聪明些?或者,仅仅因为他们准备得更加充分吗?

          私立学校平均每年在一个学生身上的花费是5000英镑,是公立学校每个学生费用的两倍还多。那么财源少得多的情况下,公立学校的学生怎么可能与私立学校的学生竞争呢?这些考试需要精心准备,为此许多公立学校的学生传统上要住校,以便有额外的学习时间。

          直到最近,仍有很多人就牛津大学的专门入学考试一事谴责牛津存在偏见。但牛津大学直到去年2月才决定取消入学考试,鼓励更多的公立学校毕业生报考本校。从1996年秋天开始,申请上牛津大学的学生像其他大学的申请者一样,将只根据他在中学学习期间的成绩和面试的表现来决定是否录取,尽管有些系仍可能需要专门考试


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