Euthenasia Essay Research Paper The term Euthanasia

Euthenasia Essay, Research Paper

The term ?Euthanasia? comes from

the Greek word for ?easy death?. It is the one of the most public policy issues

being debated about today. Formally called ?mercy killing?, euthanasia is the

act of purposely making or helping someone die, instead of allowing nature to

take it?s course. Basically euthanasia means killing in the name of compassion.

Euthanasia, can be either ?voluntary?, ?passive?, or ?positive?, Voluntary

involves a request by the dying patient or their legal representative. Passive

involves, doing nothing to prevent death – allowing someone to die. Positive

involves taking deliberate action to cause a death. Euthanasia, at the moment

is illegal throughout the world apart from in the State of Oregon, where there

is a law specifically allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for the

purpose of euthanasia. In the Netherlands it is practised widely, although, in

fact, it remains illegal. I believe that everyone has the right to choose how

they live and die. Everyone deserves respect, freedom and the power to control

their own destiny. Not everybody will have an easy death. Some terminal pain

cannot be controlled, even with the best of care and the strongest of drugs.

Other distressing symptoms, which come with diseases, such as sickness, no mobility,

incontinence, breathlessness and fever cannot always be relieved. Pain is not

always the issue – quality of life is too. Most people want to die with

dignity, but some people may spend the last moments of their life, in a way

which to them, is undignified. Having the right to control over their own life

and death helps people keep human dignity in the face of their suffering. People should not be left

lingering in pain. They should not have to suffer when death is inevitable.

People do have the right to commit suicide, although it is a tragic and

individual act. However euthanasia is not suicide. It is not a private act, you

have the support of family and friends. Euthanasia is about letting a person

assist another?s death to save them from long painful deaths. Many people argue, however, that

a person who is terminally ill may make a miraculous recovery – it has happened

in the past. Most terminally ill people whose pain and sufferings are relieved

by excellent care, given by hospices, hospitals and GPs do not require to make

decisions about euthanasia. It is only needed for those whose pain is not

relived with any form of care or whose bodily disintegration is beyond bearing.

Medical advances in recent years have made it possible to keep terminally ill

people alive for beyond a length of time, without any hope of recovery or

improvement. For this reason the ?living ill? has come into use in the USA as

part of the right-to-die principle. Most states now legally allow the making of

such wills that instruct, GPs etc., to suspend treatment or refuse life-support

measures in hopeless cases. A pro-longed? life is intolerable for people with a

condition which leaves the brain alert but eventually shuts down all bodily

functions and skills of communicating. How can people be expected to live like

this? For people like this and also people in PVS, (persistent vegetative

state) I believe that their legal representatives or close family should have

the choice and the trust to let them live a prolonged life or to end their life

and let them die with dignity. If people could make the decision themselves

then I believe that the option of euthanasia should be open to them. On the other hand, people believe

that no one has the right to play God. Christians believe that we are made in

the image of God and therefore human life is God?s gift to us and is uniquely

precious – we are not the owners of life, but it?s minders?, we belong to God

because he made us. Many religions follow this belief, so do not believe in

suicide and assisted dying. The opposition to euthanasia does

not mean that people insist on medical treatment at all costs. Good medical

practise is the alternative to euthanasia. Sometimes a distinction is made

between active euthanasia (e.g. Giving a lethal injection) and positive

euthanasia (withdrawing treatment). However it is misleading to describe

withholding or discontinuing treatment as ?euthanasia? unless it is done with

the intention of killing the patient. Sometimes a treatment may be properly

withdrawn even with the patient?s consent, for example, when it is ineffective,

merely prolonging the dying process in a terminally ill patient. When a sick or elderly patient

asks for euthanasia, it can sometimes be caused by psychological? and emotional pressures. How can we be sure

it is what they really one and not just because they feel a burden to their

families? A lot of people believe that if

voluntary euthanasia was legalised, society would soon allow involuntary

euthanasia. This is based on the idea that if we change the law to allow a

person to help someone die, we would not be able to control it. If there was to

be a law like this, there would have to be strict rules, which involved the

patient having knowledge of the whole process, making sure they are not forced

into it and also that they are mentally able to make the decision. So, should we allow people the

choice of when they die? The debate about euthanasia props up all the time,

even when it is not publicised, it is still happening secretly all the time. As

an issue euthanasia refuses to die. Everyone has their own opinion on it, with

many people wanting to see a change in the law. I think that there are three

major sides in this debate: the people involved, the law and the religious and

moral side. Each side raises very substantial factors and queries. Obviously, the pain of losing a

close relative or loved one is indescribable. The person is gone and many

people come to terms with it, but often a larger trauma, which causes more

grief, is having to watch that person suffer while you look on helplessly with

no chance of easing their pain. When finally that person dies,

their relatives? good memories may be overrun by the memories of that persons

last few days of agony and misery, when all they could do was watch them suffer

and loose dignity. Legally, euthanasia is against

the law. Simply put is it murder. The law is established by the religious and

moral arguments, remembering that one of the ten commandments is ?thou shalt

not kill?. But as in other areas in life, people come around as the years pass

on and they become more accepting of others? needs. With euthanasia, there is a

swelling amount of doctors who would like it legalised. People may agree or disagree, but

who can really know what they feel about the issue, until they are actually in

that situation? At the moment, I believe that if I was faced with the fact that

a terminally ill relative who was in a great deal of pain wanted to die, I

would go along with what they wanted. I would not want to see them suffer, but

this is only what I think now. I have never been in such a situation, and hope

I never will, but if I was maybe I would hold a different view. Although, if a

dog or cat is suffering, the vet is called upon and the animal is put to sleep.

The owner is upset over the loss but they feel that they have done the right

thing, by putting the pet out it?s misery. I do not think we can look at

human life in the same way however, as humans? are treated better than animals

and have more respect. But what is better, letting someone suffer a prolonged

and very painful life, or allowing them to die with dignity , in peace and

without pain? This issue needs a lot of thought. Many people agree with

voluntary euthanasia, many disagree but there is also a large amount of people

undecided on the matter. The time will come when the Government and medical

services will have to open their eyes to euthanasia, and there will be a lot of

debate on the subject. Until then the euthanasia debate will continue to linger,

like a terminal disease.


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