Euthanasia Essay Example
KILLING FOR MERCY.
Euthanasia is derived from a Greek words euwhich means good and thanatos meaning death. Good death in regard to euthanasia would be a death with less or no pain and distress. Euthanasia is therefore an act of inducing humane death in people or animals. Today living longer or even having a very healthy live does not guarantee a better or more acceptable death. Many argue that the modern medical technologies provide the avenue to extending the process of dying, which can be both painful or meaningless to a patient and financially burdensome to the families. This process is tethered around the human rights like the right to live and aiding to die and this has lead to many perceiving that euthanasia allows the natural process take its course (Gupta, 2004). The question is when inducing euthanasia is a human right violation, and what proves that it is a merciful killing? At my point of view, there is no justification of killing someone in the name of being merciful or putting to an end the suffering he/she is going through. Killing whether merciful or not is murder just like any other.
It is a reality that euthanasia is making people die. It is giving a very sick person an injection to cause death, rather than letting him/her go through all the process and die eventually. Euthanasia can be referred to as killing in the name of compassion. Euthanasia is divided into two categories; Active and passive euthanasia. It’s important to note that there is a distinct moral difference between the two although the latter is at times permissible while the former is forbidden. Active euthanasia is said to be more humane than passive euthanasia. The difference between the two is a said to rest on the medical ethics. But the big picture is it is permissible in some cases to withhold treatment and allow a patient to die. However, it is a criminal offence to take the life of a human being (Gupta, 2004). And in the case of a very sick patient, who knows what is going in the inside of that person so as to decide that his/her life be terminated and they can express themselves?
A patient who is dying of incurable colon cancer is in great pain, which can no longer be controlled, the most certain thing is he is to die within a few days even if treatment is continued. But he doesn’t want to continue writhing in pain and so he requests the doctor to end his life for the pain is unbearable and the family supports the process too. If the doctor agrees to withhold treatment he can be justified by that the patient is in utter agony and since he/she is going to die anyway it would be unfair to prolong his suffering. However, the right to life which is a fundamental right for all is put at stake. In some extents, and if a suicide survivor can be charged, what makes euthanasia otherwise and it is an assisted suicide?
The right to live is listed as the fundamental human right. If one is deprived off the right to live, then all the other rights have no impact. In regard to euthanasia and within the limits brought about by similar rights of others, there must be relief of pain, relief of suffering, respect of patient’s rights to refuse treatment and provision of adequate health care (Sharma, 2005). But euthanasia is not to be the option, if it is the issue of pain, and then there are pain management and hospice which can be instilled to meet the patient needs.
I strongly disagree with the act euthanasia. This is due to the fact that there are at times when the patient is too sick to make a decision or make a request. In this case, relatives give a go ahead to the doctor to withdraw treatment. My question is, how if the relatives involved were not in good terms with the patient? How if they use this as a revenge tool? Moreover, infants, people in a comma cannot express themselves, so killing them will be depriving the off the right to live. This therefore is a matter of public concern since it leads to abuse, exploitation and erosion of care for the fellow human beings (Kurtz & Paul, 1973).
Neither the law nor medical ethics requires that everything be done to keep the patient alive. There are certain situations of sicknesses that trying to postpone death of a patient is inhuman and cruel, but there is no clear definition of what would happen to a patient who cannot express him or herself. It is easier for a person to support a medical practitioner who turn off a life saving machine and strongly oppose lethal injection on a patient. With this I cans state that, the greatest problems we are having is not from pain and suffering, but form the medical practitioners ignorance of pain management techniques. It is very vital for us rethinking on the medical practice and not the medical capabilities. Moreover, patients who don’t know their rights and are operating through fear believe that their share is a painful death and can’t be prone to misuse of the medical technology.
Humanists support voluntary euthanasia but advice that one under go counseling, prevention of pressure on patients, clear witness from the patient, involving several doctors and be administered to those people who have no hope of recovery (Macklin & Ruth, 1987). Finally, I agree with that there is no difference between allowing someone to die and assisting them to die. The outcome is the same but it is like the more active one seems more compassionate, but patients should be allowed to live until nature takes its cause and they die, rather than killing them.
Gupta B.D. 2004
“Euthanasia: Personal View Point”, J Punjab Acad Forensic
Sharma B.R. 2005 “Euthanasia: An overview of the Journey from inception to
implementation”, J Punjab Acad Forensic
Kurtz, Paul, 1973. Humanist Manifestos I and II, Buffalo, New
York: Prometheus Press.
Macklin, Ruth, 1987. Mortal Choices Ethical Dilemmas in Modern
Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts:Houghton Mifflin.
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