Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide
Peter is a 64-year-old who decided to take early retirement to enjoy life and not work so hard. He decided it was time to enjoy his grandchildren and like any other typical retiree enjoy traveling. Recently having built a house in Morelos, Mexico it was time to enjoy it. Peter has always been the life of the party. Anyone who meets him instantly falls in love with the person he is. He is a hard worker, compassionate, very dependable person. He will take the shirt off his back to help you. As you get older you start feeling the aches and pain that comes along with aging and Peter was starting to feel it or so he thought it was from aging. After a routine checkup he is told to immediately go to the hospital there was something abnormal in his blood work. After spending four days in the hospital going through many testing, Peter is given the worst news you can possibly get. Three words you never want to hear come out of your doctor’s mouth You have cancer. Being diagnosed with a terminal disease can be devastating not only for the patient but also for the family and friends. After overcoming from the initial shock you want many answers to questions you might have. Many questions will remain unanswered or it is not the response you were hoping for. All you know is that being diagnosed with a terminal disease, the end result is going to be death. Therefore, Euthanasia should be offered and allowed for these cases. The three main reasons why Euthanasia should be allowed are these patients have no chance of recovery, shortens suffering, and after all, they have the right to a good death.
Being diagnosed with a terminal disease means there is no cure and no chance of recovering from the illness. There is no nice or easy way a doctor can give you such devastating news. Many feelings run through your body. Feelings of anger, sadness, and denial are the most common. Your body feels numb, you have tunnel vision, and it seems as if you can not comprehend anything else after being told you are dying. Many can not process the thought of having a painful death. The deaths of a terminal ill patient are not only painful for the patient but also for the family and friends. There is no right or wrong way to deal with death. Just like there is no correct way to react to the diagnosis. Priorities will need to be put in place and decisions will need to be made. For many talking about planning their own funeral is like the big elephant in the room, you simply don’t want to acknowledge it. Although it will be hard to talk about it is very important for everyone to know what your plan of action is. There will be at point in time where your body starts to decline, your organs start to give up on you and the pain begins to become unbearable. That is when Euthanasia can be considered. Being terminally ill you are going to die, it is just a matter of time. According to Wikipedia Euthanasia comes from the Greek word eu meaning good and Thanatos meaning death. (Wikipedia 2018) The definition is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. (Wikipedia 2018)Everyone wants to have a good death or painless one. Dying in your sleep is a good example of a good death or even a sudden death can be considered good because it is quick and you do not feel it. Euthanasia allows the doctor, with the patient’s consent, to administer a lethal dose of medication which ends the suffering and the patient dies. The first time it was actually used in medical context was by Francis Bacon in the 17th Century. (Wikipedia 2018).
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Another method of ending life is physician assisted suicide where the patient administers the medication to him/her self.
Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide helps avoid the agonizing pain that is being constantly suffered by the individual seeking to end their life. These practices are starting not to be specifically for only the terminally ill patients. In Belgium, Dr. Chabot, a psychiatrist, was the first doctor to help a physically healthy patient suffering from depression end her life.(Mason 2015) The action of performing Euthanasia on a perfectly healthy person gave a whole new meaning to ending your life voluntarily. Having to live in constant pain is not living. For instance, Peter Kettelslegers, who suffers from a cluster of headaches so bad he hits himself over and over again because the pain is so excruciating has had enough. (Mason, 2015) Kettelslegers has reached a point where he wants Euthanasia, he sees no reason to continue to live if all he is going to be doing is suffering in pain. He does not want to continue putting not only himself through the pain but also his wife and their two sons Alex and Thomas.( Mason, 2015) On the other hand, eighty-five year old Simona feels she has lived a full life and does not want to see another birthday, she is ready to leave this world. Simona has received the clearance of three doctors that is necessary for Euthanasia. (Mason, 2015) She prepares herself by saying her last goodbyes to her neighbors at the senior housing. Her only wishes is to be buried next to her daughter and the doctor promises that it will be fulfilled. For this reason, many people have strong opinions about the acceptability of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide and when and if it should be allowed. For the most part, their opinion is formed based on their beliefs and morals. Most certainly it is a hard subject to touch and to understand especially if no one you know or yourself is going through such diagnosis. Having to witness a loved one decline in health is very hard. To see them slowly leaving their shell, and before you know it they are nothing like what they used to be is in some way suffering for the family. When a person’s quality of life has been significantly altered due to a condition or illness, this is a way to end their life with dignity. No one should be forced to live in pain. So then, if they can control one thing while suffering, let it be when and where they die. Dying on their terms not on the terms of the illness.
If having a good death is a right, then terminally ill patients should have that right. While researching this topic I came across movies that had me on both sides of the topic.the first one being Guzaarish. Ethan Mascarenhas, from the movie Guzaarish, petitioned his radio listeners to vote whether he should have to right to euthanasia. Ethan suffered an accident that left him paralyzed. After 14 years he has decided he wants to end his suffering and the suffering of those who surround him. (Guzaarah, 2010) Guzaarah portrayed how difficult it is to live a life where you can not lift even a finger. Ethan’s doctor , who is against euthanasia, is put in a position he does not want to be like many doctors who’s patient request euthanasia. A physicians role is to save lives and give the respect human life deserves. However, from a strict medical ethics perspective, international guidelines following the Hippocratic Oath and the World Medical Association Declaration of Geneva still consider euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide as a morally forbidden practice. (Nunes, 2016) Having to rely on someone for your every move and how difficult that must be. Being put in that position I think I would choose the same. On the contrary to watch You Don’t Know Jack I was left feeling some type of way. A biopic movie of Jack Kevorkian, an advocate for assisted suicide, who was charged with murder for his direct role in the death of Lou Gehrig’s death.(Levinson, 2010) At the beginning you can feel the passion Mr. Kevorkian has to help this patients not suffer anymore but quickly it seems to turn in to the opposite of what euthanasia is. It seems as he was on a rush to see how many patients he can put out of their misery and win his battles in court when they try to imprison him for assisting the patients. That is why there is such a think line and so much controversy because it can turn into a slippery slope very quickly.
A strong moral argument against euthanasia is that it may shortly become a slippery slope, with the legalization of involuntary euthanasia following it. Since involuntary euthanasia is indirect from murder it wouldn’t be possible to manage, inflicting the danger of murderers not being delivered to justice, because of their crimes being happened as involuntary kill. there’s additionally concern that doctors may find themselves killing terribly sick patients and not ask for their permission, and within the worst case state of affairs, begin to exterminate patients to vacant beds in hospitals, or to avoid wasting cash. These things show however dangerous it can be to let the legalization of kill lead into the legalization of involuntary euthanasia. On the opposite facet of the controversy, the argument is that those who are terminally ill and are seeking euthanasia have the right to terminate their lives, whenever they would like. Several supporters of euthanasia believe that everybody has the right to manage their body and life, and will be absolve to decide at what time, and within which manner they’ll die. The thought behind this is often that extra restraints on human rights ought to be avoided. Since the right to life offers someone the correct to not be killed if they are doing not wish to, proponents of kill argue that respect for this right can stop kill being victimized, as killing a patient while not their permission would violate their human rights. It also can be argued that as a result of death could be a non-public matter, if there’s no hurt to the other individuals, there’s no right to deny someone’s would like to die. Supporters of this believe that if kill promotes the simplest interests of all the parties involved, and no human rights are desecrated, then it’s virtuously acceptable for voluntary kill to require place.
In conclusion, for most it is out of the question for discussion. Many find euthanasia for physician assisted suicide unethical maybe because of selfishness and don’t want their loved ones to die so soon even if they are suffering. The thought of not having their physical body present is unbearable. Others let religion and politics influence their decision in opposing this method. No one wants a loved one to die. There are many factors that need to be considered. It is clear that there are sturdy arguments from either side, and also the discussion on whether or not voluntary putting to death ought to be allowed still continues. My believe is that if a terminally sick patient’s life holds nothing but suffering, then it ought to be a suitable choice to facilitate them to die as long as the patient requests it, and adequate permission is given. I also, however, consider several arguments against putting to death, like the danger of it changing into a slippery slope. I feel that voluntary putting to death may be used as a canopy up for a lot of criminal acts, like murder. Because of the actual fact that I consider several of the points from either aspect of the topic, I realize I’m unable to completely consider either of the sides, however, though I’m leaning slightly towards the concept that putting to death ought to be legalized in some circumstances. The religious side of me brings me to believe that this should not be permissible. On the contrast, having gone through a family member dying in agony brings me back to conclude that if a patient is terminally ill and is suffering the option of euthanasia should be giving while the patient is lucid. To many just having the option is sufficient even though at the end it is not one they take.