Is Euthanasia Ethical Essay, Research Paper
Is Euthanasia Ethical?
Euthanasia Comes from the Greek word meaning the good death. It is defined as The act or practicing the end of life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. If a patient is suffering from an incurable disease, or is in pain and near the end of their rope I feel that euthanasia is the only humane answer to their predicament.
There are two kinds of euthanasia, active and passive, Active euthanasia is an intentional act that causes death. Active Euthanasia can also be split into two different categories, involuntary and voluntary. Involuntary Euthanasia happens when a patient does not give the doctor permission to give them a lethal injection that would result in their death. On the flip side voluntary euthanasia is when the patient gives the OK for the doctor to go ahead with the injection because the patient feels they have no reason to continue with life. Passive Euthanasia is the intentional act to avoid the dying process. The Difference between the two (active and passive euthanasia) is that in Active Euthanasia the act performed on the patient directly kills and is meant to kill the patient. Passive Euthanasia occurs when doctors withhold treatment from a patient with a disease which might have ordinarily killed them if they didn t get treatment for it.
Many argue that practicing Euthanasia is just like murder, but euthanasia can be separated from murder because in murder there is a motive. There is no motive for doctors to kill their patient. They most likely don t have a grudge to settle with a patient, and even if they did they are not allowed to settle it when it is their patient. Doctors take and oath that says they will try to help patients no matter the circumstance. If someone is suffering and there is no cure for they re suffering the argument can be made that letting the patient go to a better place is helping them.
A person has a right to do what they wish with their own body. This right is more commonly known as autonomy. No one knows better for an individual than the individual, therefore the individual has all the right in the world to choose to live or die. Once they have determined that there is no reason to live anymore and that they will die eventually if then they decide not to prolong the inevitable their decision should be respected (Thomasma).
Holland is the only country in the world where euthanasia is legal. There are qualifications that have to made in order for the patient to qualify for a doctor to assist him/her with suicide they are as follows:
h The patient must make a voluntary request
h The request must be well considered
h The wish must be durable (meaning the patient must ask repeatedly)
h The patient is in unacceptable suffering
h The physician has consulted a colleague who agrees with the proposed course of action.
Holland has one of the highest standards for medical care in the world. The majority of the people in the country have medical insurance (about 95%) which guarantees basic healthcare and long term care. If the nation with the highest medical standards in the world legalizes euthanasia all nations should. The reason for the highest medical standards is that the people in Holland trust their doctors.
The Argument can be made that Euthanasia is a form of murder, and of course ending the life of another person is not ethical, but this argument can be combated. A person that is wishing to die and is terminally ill is going to die anyway. So why not ease the persons suffering and let them die peacefully, with no pain. Making Euthanasia legal would have its problems though. It could be abused. We can t have everyone who wants to die using these means to go about their own death. Everyone would have to follow the present guidelines that take form in Holland s laws, or maybe have more strict laws that state exactly what kind of shape a patient has to be in when they want to be put to death. Autonomy plays a big part in the argument as to is Euthanasia ethical. As you know Autonomy is the right to choose what you want to do with your life. Well if you are in pain and know that you are going to die, then you should be able to choose if you want to continue living an agony and die suffering or if you wish to die with no pain and die peacefully.
I think that Euthanasia is ethical. If a patient is suffering from an incurable disease, or is in pain and near death, then euthanasia is the only humane answer to their predicament. The doctors in Holland have known the patients for many years and know when their patient is at the end of their rope. They then can make an educated decision as to how to go about their patients wishes to die. Trust is a key factor, which leads me to believe that if people were to trust their doctors more people would be in favor of euthanasia and it would become legal everywhere. You have to put yourself in someone else s shoes to know what its like. Imagine yourself in a hospital bed at the end of your life, and you know it. You re just waiting to die, you are in pain, there s nothing anyone can do for you. For you death is the best thing that can happen. Assisted suicide is the only humane decision. It is almost a cruel punishment to be waiting for your death from anywhere to a day or a month. That would seem like eternity. Staring at the blank hospital walls until you die, that is not a death anyone deserves. If you are allowed to choose the way you live, then why not be able to choose the way you die as well? In the end it s your own life that s at stake.
I suggest that Passive Euthanasia and Voluntary Active Euthanasia be legalized. It all comes down to the persons choice if they want to live or not. but, there have to be many guidelines that you have to qualify for to be put to death in this manner, such as the ones set in Holland. There should be clinics where people have the choice to be transferred to in the event that they meet all the requirements that allow you to go through with the procedure.