Euthanasia Is Religious, Medically, And Legally Wrong Essay, Research Paper
Euthanasia Is Religious, Medically, and Legally Wrong
Euthanasia is defined as “a painless killing,espacially to end a
painful and incurable disease;mercy killing”. The righteousness of this act is
being debated in several countries throughout the world,and Canada is no
exception.Euthanasisa must not be accepted for religious,legal and medical
reasons,as alternatives to such a dramatic end.
To begin,the law,both civil and religious,forbid killing. Individuals
are prosecuted in courts of law for committing murder. An example of this is
the case of Robert Latimer. Although he claimed to have mercifully ended the
life of his daughter who suffered from an extreme case of cerebral palsy,he
was convicted of murder in the second digree. The courts were obliged to find
him guilty as he broke the law by taking the life of another human being.
Robert Latimer took it upon himself to decide that his daughter would never
lead a full life. Tracy Latimer was never given an opportunity for success, as
her life was taken. A not guilty verdict would have told people that parents
of disabled children can perform both voluntary euthanasia on their children.
In the United States, euthanasia was voted on for the first time in the state
of Washington. Although polls before the vote revealed strong support for
it,the ballot was defeated by fifty-four to forty-six percent,and euthanasia
remains illegal in Noth America. In addition to violating civil law,euthanasia
also contradicts the laws of many religions of the world. It is God who
controlls life and death. Man will take this responsibility if euthanasia is
permitted. It is stated in the ten commandments,”Do not commit murder”. Murder
can take many forms,one of which is suicide,the taking of one’s own life. This
is forbidden by the Christian religion. There is a picture on my grand-mothers
wall which stated that”human life is not merely the possession of the one who
bears it. It is an inherited gift,as such,has meaning not only for oneself but
for those who bestowed it,those who have shared it and those who will follow”.
This is an unselfish Christian attitude which states that life not only belong
to the one who leads it,but also to the friends and family of the person, both
past,present and future. Therefor, euthanasia does not serve a purpose within a
society where murder is wrong ,both legally and religiously.
In addition,active euthanasia,if legalized will say OK to practicing
involuntary euthanasia. Presently,there is much research being done concerning
the need for euthanasia and its effects. Over time, the care and caution
exercised in making dicisions exercised in making decisions as to who should
receive euthanasia may become sloppy. According to Daniel Callaham, director of
Hastings House,a medicial ethics center in New York:”The slippery alope
argument against euthanasia has always been that once you start voluntary
euthanasia, you are likely to gravitate towards involuntary euthanasia. starts
in the hands of a few very cautious,responsible people, but when it becomes a
mass phenomenon,don’t count on the same high standards”. In the
Nethalands,where active euthanasia is allowed,this situation is beginning to
arise. One third of the five thousand patients who receive lethal amounts of
drugs from their doctors do not give their concent,five percent only do so out
of unbearable pain and one third because of a fear of because dependant on
others. Patient will begins to look at thier illness and its effects on their
families in assited dying,with it being offered most readily to those least
able to pay for medical care”. This must not take place as it will reduce the
lifespans of an increasingly large group of people in society:the elderly. It
will also fill thier remaining days with worry over the termination of thier
own lives,for reasons other than lost hope and unbeleivable pain.
Therefor,euthanasia will lead to the unnecessary termination of many lives.
Also,euthanasia cotradicts the point of medicine. Doctors cannot be
expected to heal as well as kill. The purpose of medicine is to get rid of
suffering and death. Euthanasia is in contrast to this purpose. Over
time,euthanasia would eventally corrupt the medical system. It could be used as
a excuse for malpractice. A false diagnosis or surgical procedure on a patient
who had been suffering or near death for quite some time,could be covered up
by claims that the patient wished to die in thefirst place. This would avoid
an investigation or a rise in malpractice insurance for the doctor. Also,the
field of disease cure research would suffer. In some cases,the finding cures
and new treatments because its victims will be killed through euthanasia. Cures
are costly and extremelydifficult to find. If euthanasia is allowed,this
inexpensive method may be chosen by doctors who feel that all hope is lost.
There are many documents cases of people who have regained conciousness after
comas lasting months or even years. It is also always possible that new drugs
will be found to combat diseases which are presently regarded as fatal. In
addition,euthanasia would wreck the image society has of doctors. Asks Stephen
Connor,a Toronto writer and lecturer in medical ethics:”In a word that swirls
with death-starvation,war, revolation-society depends on doctors as the steady
symbols of life and its power. Are we prepared to forfit that hard-won trust
and turn them in to non-committal agents of death as well as life?”. Society
would slowly lose faith in doctors. Groups such as the elderly and the disable
would eventually stop visiting thier doctors out of fear that euthanasia
would be a suggested treatment, denying them the health care they deserve.
Therefor,because euthanasia would corupt medical practices and demenish
society’s belief in medicine,it cannot be allowed.
Finally,there are many available alternatives to euthanasia. Aside from
drug therapy and hospitalization,psychological treatment and palliative care are
replacements for euthanasia. To begin,many disabled members of society lead
fulfilling lives,except for the fact their degrees of success are looked down
upon by the rest of society,which feels that they do not live up to normal.
Says one woman who suffers from moderate cerebral palsy:”What I have not been
able to accept is the way people treat me and the feeling that I’m a burden
to my family and myself”. Treatment is needed for the members of society
suffering from an illness,to assist them in finding a meaning or purpose in
their lives. In addition to emotional strengthening,the availability of care
must be increased. This type of care,or hospice movement provides an
alternative to hospital care for the terminally ill,who have less than six
months to live. The patient is cared for,counseled, and visited by others.
Children who will often bring flowers, drawings and games. The purpose of
Hospices is to give the patient a sense of control over their death,while
filling their last days with a sense of peace. After the death of the patient
their family is counseled. This is a more unselfish way to die,as many family
members who take their own lives blame themselves in some way.
In conclusion,euthanasia is religiously, legally and medically wrong.
There are many alternatives to this act of murder. It is not man’s decision to
judge whether or not a person should be put to death,even if it is their wish.
According to Leon Kass of the new England Journal of Medicine:”Verbal request
made under duress rarely revealed the whole story. Often a demand for
euthanasia is,in fact an angry or anxious plea for help,born of fear of
rejection or abandonment,or made in ignorance of available alternatives that
could alleviate pain and suffering”. Euthanasia has no place in a world which
is already suffering from numerous accounts of too early death. Euthanasia
will only result in death coming too early in life. The effects it will be
huge,if allowed. There is only one person with the right to kill; GOD.