Euthanasia: The Right To Live Or To Die. Essay, Research Paper
Euthanasia: the right to live or to die.
Clinics and society face today the problem of euthanasia, which deals with life and death. For some, is saving a life and for other, is to kill one. Euthanasia not only relates to medicines and society, but also with religion. There is a distinction to be made in terms of euthanasia; it deals with passive and active euthanasia. According to the religion, nobody but God has the right to give a life or take it away. But at the same time, technology plays a role on it, since in most cases, the patient is kept alive due to the machines. This can also be considered a violation of God rules, since then patient will no longer live if the machines are off. Euthanasia comes from the Greek word good or merciful death. It is the art of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or disease. Active euthanasia is an intentional act that causes death. Passive euthanasia is an intentional act to avoid prolonging the dying process. (Euthanasia, 2)
Euthanasia is a very controversial issue today since it struggles with the right to die or to live. It is necessary to define what is to be a human being: a person living or a vegetative person living. To what extend is a person considered to be living? To what extend is euthanasia a choice? Technology made possible to prolong patient to be alive, but living because of the help of machines is not living in reality. Euthanasia is a choice; therefore, in a vegetative state, among others, where passive euthanasia can be applied, the decision has to be made by patients closest relatives with medical advice.
The act of letting a patient die, since its disease has no cure or there is no more healing to be done by the doctors, but to keep the patient living due to the technology that we have today, should be accepted. When the patient is in a terminally ill state, and there is no more faith to put an end to this pain, family members, receive, in a second term, the same pain, but psychologically. It may be difficult to see a person who we love, who is with us physically but no spiritually. In this case the decision usually is to apply the passive euthanasia, that as defined before, is the act of killing the patient due to its condition of being a non-living. Obviously, the decision must be hard for those who face it, including the doctor as well, but sometimes we have to look ahead our problems and difficulties of life to achieve tranquility and happiness. At the end, applying passive euthanasia to a lovable one is a long term feeling, since the conclusion of all this connected family-patients pain is over.
On the other hand, there is the issue if doctors should use their medical skills to end a patient s life. When talking about active euthanasia, terms of deciding to live or to die play the role, there is still life, but there is not hope, which in terms of applying passive euthanasia, both hope and life (not meaning the word itself, but the state) are absent. When the patient is not terminally ill, and still can think, and also is capable to make decisions, like for example, not being able to handle the situation anymore, therefore, deciding to end its life, must be not accepted. It is a violation of human values, and in terms of religion, if God is present, He is the only one to decide that.
The whole idea that clinicians should do anything to relive pain and do nothing to cause further pain and suffering, is the principle of mercy. Although sometimes treatments causes pain, it doesn t mean that death should be applied, taking into account that the pain will, in a long term, be relief and cure. Clinicians face a lot of pressure in terms of euthanasia, as Jennifer Reiling wrote in The Journal of the American Association, that there is a difference between making it easier to the patient and helping he or she to die and continue living after tremendous pain which was alleviated.
The attempts to manage the problems of terminally ill patients through euthanasia, can lead society, more and more to loose doctors trust, since the word killing has a meaning itself .It is not appropriate for physicians to assist in killing patients. Society see the medical field as something powerful which we should understand that doctors will use their knowledge to try to heal patients and do not let them to get the easy way, get killed. Also, the physicians, while the patient is in the process of dying, should assist her or him by providing adequate pain control and emotional support, which is fundamental for the hope and continuation of the process.
Euthanasia deals with the quality of life, suffering, dependency, morality, personal beliefs and death itself. This has been a controversial issue for a long time, and it is still today. In some countries is accepted, but there are opposing viewpoints, thus, in some countries is not a choice. We should not only say that is accepted or not in some countries but we should say societies and individuals too. Within the beliefs and the ethical dilemma that euthanasia involves, there is a life. Euthanasia is a struggle that involves different points of view. Although it is a personal decision, life experiences feelings and reflections have to be done to reach the choice: to die or to live. That is why euthanasia involves this whole struggle of living painfully, dying easy, ending pain. It involves the passive and the active euthanasia. Which I support passive, but not active.
It can be said that miracles exist in the medical field in terms of prolonging life by modern medicine. Even in situations when quality of life might be questioned by families and patients, and unfortunately sometimes, only families. Suffering is also not just physical but also psychological and spiritual, involving the quality of life and the meaning of it. Euthanasia, in its passive form of ceasing pain to terminally ill patient and fulfilling the soul of its relative by relieving the psychological pain, must be accepted, or better, comprehended. Because sometimes is dead the one which is prolonged, and life is hidden with machines making terminally ill patients into prisoners of technology.
Moreno, Jonathan. Arguing Euthanasia. New York: Touchstones,1995
Bender, David L., and Leone,Bruno. Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. SanDiego,CA: Greenhaven,1989
Humphry, Derek, and Wickett, Ann. The Right to Die: Understanding Euthanasia. New York: Harper & Row, 1986
Thomasma,David C., and Grabes, Glenn C. Euthanasia. New York:Continuum,1990
Reiling, Jennifer. Euphoria vs. Euthanasia JAMA, The journal of the American Medical Association. V281 (March 24,1999):1068