Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper
Mrs. Julie Helm
November 2, 2000
Euthanasia has become a controversial subject. It is a Greek word, that means easy death, broken down into origins EU means “good” and Thanatos means death. Therefore, this word also means good death. Euthanasia’s definition is the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies. This implies that the act must be initiated by the person who wishes to commit suicide. (Euthanasia)
There are two kinds of euthanasia, Passive and Active, there are clear distinctions between both of them. Passive euthanasia is withdrawal of life support. This type has been specifically upheld by the courts as a legal right act for a doctor to perform. A few examples of passive euthanasia is removal of life support, stopping medical procedures or medication and stopping food and water and allowing the person to dehydrate or starve to death. The two most common types of passive euthanasia are when CPR is not delivered or morphine is not given to control pain. This procedure is also done on persons in persistent vegetative state, these are individuals with massive brain damage who are in a coma from which they cannot possibly regain consciousness. (Euthanasia)
Euthanasia makes some people make very hard decisions. Passive Euthanasia is something that I support. I believe that people should not have to live on a machine. When people lie there in a vegetarian state on life support. They are truly dead. God has the power to let people live and die, but this power is seemed to be overcome by technology. A person cannot die if they are being supported by a machine.
This causes people to make major decisions and have much conflict between families. The reasons for these conflicts are because family members are not allowed to decide if their relation wants to die. The legislation passed the Natural Death Act, which allows for living wills, an advance directive to a requesting the withholding or withdrawing of life sustaining treatment. Also, in 1990 congress passed the Patient Self Determination Act. It requires health care facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid to funds to inform new patients about their legal right to write a living will or choose a proxy to represent them. This brings up a question, “Who’s life is it any way’s ?” I do not believe that legislation should stand in the way of someone dying. I think that people should be able to decide. There are many factors that complicate these decisions. First, some people do not have health care or cannot afford someone to be on long term life support. This sounds selfish but people do have to live and go on with their lives. God has a plan for everyone and the decision’s people make are with God’s help. Therefore, letting someone die naturally is not a wrong doing.
Did you know that it is not a crime to be present when a person takes their life, but it is a crime to take direct action intentionally designed to help facilitate death. (Euthanasia) The other type of Euthanasia is Active. It is the doctor who administers the lethal drug dose. Active Euthanasia means of actions taken to bring about the death of a dying patient by physician-assisted death. This act is specifically prohibited by law in most states banning “mercy killing” and is condemned by the American Medical Association. (Collegeterm)
Active Euthanasia leads us into another subject, physician assisted suicide. This is where a physician supplies info and/or the means of committing suicide. These physicians would prescribe for lethal doses of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide gas, to a person, so that they could easily terminate their own life.
The term Voluntary Passive Euthanasia (VPE) is becoming commonly used. Dr. Jack Kervorkian a Michigan physician. Thus, he is one of the most known mercy killing doctors. He has promoted VPE and assisted at least a hundred deaths of patients. Originally, he hooked his patients up to a machine that delivered measured doses of medications, but the patients pushed a button to release them. Lately, he provided carbon monoxide and a face mask so that patients could initiate the flow of gas. (Euthanasia) Kervorkian has assisted in more than a hundred deaths, but also he finally admitted to over a 130 assists. (collegeterm) A man named Thomas Youk, 52 was killed by the assistance of Kervorkian. The killing of Thomas was videotaped and was given to 60 Minutes to air on television. He was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and to be killed he was injected with a lethal dose of Potassium Chloride. In this assist Kervorkian injected Youk rather than rigging up his homemade suicide machine. Thomas was frightened that the advancing disease would cause him a horrible death; he wanted to a quick painless exit from life. Dr. Kervorkian was charged with First Degree murder, and the jury found with guilty of Second Degree murder in March of 1999.
Active euthanasia, physician assisted suicide is it right? I do not believe that if someone wants to die that a doctor should help them. When you think of a doctor you think of a professional example, he or she is there to help you heal or save your life, not to kill it. I believe the active euthanasia is wrong. God has a plan for you, every day is planned out for a reason, and everything that happens is for a reason. If you go and kill yourself, or at least have someone help you it is going against God’s plan. With traditional Christian beliefs, it violates one’s natural desire to live. It also harms people, and life is the gift of God and it thus only be taken by God. If you sit down and think about the situation of killing yourself, and think about the consequences, they aren’t always the best. I believe everyone has horrible days, weeks or years, no matter what happens, there should be no reason why your life should be taken. Things could be very miserable, but I believe so strongly that if you can survive through everything. Every situation happens for some reason. No one may ever no why those things happen, but it makes you a stronger person. Killing yourself is giving up on life; your family has to accept the fact that you have given up on everything in life and have left them behind with everything. Humans do not have the power to decide if it is time for someone to die. God is the only person in control of life or death. When someone takes their life, they are taking their death out of God’s hands. Do they know what they are missing? God takes us when it is time for our plan to be executed. It is time for a new life to begin, but when assisted suicide is done, the plan has been messed with. No matter how much pain or suffering someone is in everything will eventually turn out or Jesus Christ took the cross for us, could we sacrifice pain for him. Life is a gift from God, and that “each individual its steward”. Thus, only God can start life, and only God should be allowed to end one. An individual who commits suicide is committing sin. God does not send us any experience that we cannot handle. God supports people in suffering. To actively seek an end to one’s life would represent a lack of trust in God’s promise.
I know that everyone’s opinion will be different on this subject, because everyone has a different religion and belief whether someone should make the decision if they should die or not.
“Throughout the nation. Americans are engaged in an earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of physician-assisted suicide. Our holding permits this debate to continue, as it should in an democratic society.” This is a disadvantage to the “pro-life” camp who are working to make certain that freedom to choose assisted suicide remains unavailable to all Americans. The ruling means that they will have to prevent all 50 states from passing permissive laws. If even one state passes such a law, then at least wealthy patients will be able to relocate to that state, satisfy the resident requirements, and obtain help in dying. (assisted suicide)
Is this right? Should people really go that low to die, to relocate to another state, I think that none of the states should have laws. If people are still going to be able to relocate to another state than it should be illegal in all states to have assisted suicide.
The supreme court decision was very narrow in scope. It only ruled on whether the public had a general right to assisted suicide. The case was originally brought by six terminally ill individuals in intractable pain who wanted access to assisted suicide. But by the time the court heard legal arguments all six had died. Thus, the court was unable to rule whether terminally ill individuals should have a right to assisted suicide. Instead, they made a decision on whether citizens generally had that right. (assisted suicide)
The statement above proves that there is no reason why someone should want access to assisted suicide. It states that is if someone doesn’t even life through a trial because they are so sick, they should not have to kill themselves. They just should let God take them when it is time instead of them rushing their deaths.
There was a survey of physicians, Dr. Diane Meier of Mount Sinai school of medicine in New York, NY led a survey of 1,092 doctors on the topic of physician assisted suicide. They polled doctors who specialized in aging, infectious diseases, cancer and diseases which affected kidneys, nerves and lungs. These were the areas of medicine where they felt that request for assisted suicide might commonly surface. They found that: 6.4 percent of those who responded admitted that they had helped at least one patient commit suicide. They speculate that actual number is probably much larger, as many doctors would be unwilling to disclose criminal acts that they have performed. Among the group that had helped at least one patient to die, 53% said that the assisted-death of their most recent patient was caused by a lethal injection. The rest wrote a prescription for pills that would cause death. 29% of the doctors agreed to help in a suicide because their patient was in severe pain. 78% did it because their patient was in severe discomfort other than pain. These patients gave many reasons for wanting to die: 79% cited discomfort other than pain, 53% cited loss of dignity, 52% cited for fear of uncontrollable systems. (assisted suicide)
Does this make you think? Can you imagine if you asked your doctor to help you die, and he said that he would? The reason people gave to die, are very unreasonable. For example, discomfort other than pain, what does this mean? Is it saying that because people are depressed that they want to end their lives, I mean is that a good supported reason why someone should take their life. Also, in the survey it claimed that because people “might” get uncontrollable symptoms, they wanted to die because they “might” get them. People do not know what the future holds, so why should they want to do away with themselves before they know what happens. I strongly believe that no one should ever want to die, if they are going to die, God will decide when the best time is, and when you are ready for your life plan.
“Assisted Suicide.” Online posting.
Feensa, John. “Euthanasia.” Online posting. 26 Oct. 2000