Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper
Euthanasia is the solution to one’s pain and agony that couldn’t be achieved by prolonging the life of a person through modern medicine. This merciful act is unselfish and is done willfully and not forsaking the gift of life that was given to them. Euthanasia, active or passive should not be confused with the act of suicide. Suicide is used as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Euthanasia is a choice that someone would have to make on their own because they have God given free will.
The main argument I have for passive euthanasia is that people have watched one of their family members grow old and become extremely ill. However, I feel that isn’t right for every person who is looking for a way to stop the pain. This act should be a last resort. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. The choice that I make may change after I find myself in a great deal of pain or dying of an illness that will turn me into a vegetable. The major decision that might have to be made is the belief in religion. The stress and worry on the family is extremely high. They know that there is no hope left for the ill member but there is nothing that they can do. I know how these people feel because I have witnessed this process of deterioration with someone in my family. The worst feeling that humans have is pain. For instance, when pain gets to a certain extent that we can’t live free, than the act of euthanasia should, and probably in the near future, be a choice that we all have. That’s why laws allow passive euthanasia. This form of euthanasia has been used in times when it is evident that the patient’s quality of life has no way of improvement. A person is not always in a vegetable state, which would be a non-voluntary. “Passive euthanasia is the withdrawal of extraordinary life-prolonging techniques, such as intravenous feeding and resuscitation, or not initiating such treatment, when the situation is hopeless”(The Humanist).
Active euthanasia, also known as mercy killing or doing something to another person with the intention of shortening that person’s life. If the killing is done with the help of another person it is called non-voluntary active euthanasia. If you were to take an active route in relieving your grandfather, for example, you might pour him a glass of antifreeze to drink or put cyanide on a part of his dinner. “The movement in favor of mercy-killing is much more ambitious. It springs from, and is part of an entirely new attitude towards life. It is not aiming at some marginal reform of medically manipulated death. If the concept of euthanasia succeeds, it will lead to revolutionary changes in medicine, in health care for persons who are older or disabled, in law, family life, and in the very way people deal with each other”(I. van der Sluis). Dr. Jack Kevorkian has assisted in the suicides of about 27 people. The way he got started was in 1987 when he placed a classified ad in a newspaper for death counseling. The method that he uses lethally injects the patient with Carbon Monoxide. The gas is odorless, tasteless, and replaces the oxygen in your blood cells and kills painlessly. On June 4, 1990, he tested his machine for the first time at a campsite near Detroit. A 54 year-old Oregon woman lay dead in the back of his rusty, old Volkswagen Van. And Dr. Kevorkian was on his way to becoming known around the world. Activists who believe in the right to die issues think that Dr. Kevorkian is the leader of the euthanasia revolution and that he does nothing wrong when he kills a person who is suffering. The people that believe that Kevorkian is a murderer say that the machine is just and experiment for a pathologist, who deals with dead people and body parts. If there were no hope for you to live without pain I wouldn’t ask him for help.
Anti-euthanasia protesters have is that the person who is asking for the service may not be of sound mind, meaning that they may be insane. With the request form setup the way it is, all the person has to do is get some doctor to say that the patient is terminally ill and is under tremendous pain. They must also get a few people to sign the form saying that they believe that the patient is of sound mind. The law never pleases everyone, and they’re right when they say that there will be loopholes and that mentally impaired people may kill themselves. The major influence on the “no” side is the religious beliefs. The Similar Sides of the Church: Pope John Paul II in his latest speech has condemned euthanasia. An excerpt from his speech: To concur with the intention of another person to commit suicide and to cooperate in, and at times to be the actual perpetrator of, an injustice which can never be excused, even if it is requested. In a remarkably relevant passage, Saint Augustine writes that, “it is never licit to kill another even if he should wish it, indeed if he request it because, hanging between life and death, he begs for help in freeing the soul struggling against the bonds of the body and longing to be released; nor is it licit even when a sick person is no longer able to live”(Conolly).
The power to decide who should to live and who should die. We find ourselves in the temptation of Eden. God alone has the power over life and death, but only he exercises this power in accordance with a plan of wisdom and love. When man usurps this power, being enslaved by a foolish and selfish way of thinking, he inevitably uses it for injustice and death. The life of a person who is weak is placed in the hands of a person who is strong. In society the sense of justice is lost and mutual trust, the basis of every relationship, is undermined at its roots. The Islamic religion also thinks that euthanasia is a sin. The Shari`a, or Islamic bible, makes exceptions to the general rule of sanctity of human life. However, they don’t make any exceptions for mercy killing. Prophet Mohammed puts it this way, “There was a man in older times who had an infliction that taxed his patience, so he took a knife, cut his wrist and bled to death. Upon this God said, “My subject hastened his end, I deny him paradise.” Christians believe that they are obligated to use ordinary medicine to help them live. God, in the Christian sense, said, “There is no gods besides me. I put to death and I bring life”(Deuteronomy 32:39). With three major religions in the world opposing euthanasia, it is quite easy to see why many people believe that the right to die should not be a right at all.
I think that if someone wants to use the choice to have euthanasia performed, then they have the God given right. It might not be the right choice, but everyone was given the right to free will. The only person they have to answer to is God.