March 7, 2015
Die with Dignity
One of the most studied fields in bioethics today is Euthanasia. Should it be legal to have the option to end your life with the help of a lethal drug under the supervision of a medical doctor? This poses moral, social, and religious issues. There are two types of Euthanasia: Active and Passive. They could both be for a patient who is terminally ill and suffering. Passive Euthanasia is when a will Doctor terminates a medication keeping the patient alive, or not performing a lifesaving procedure. Active Euthanasia is when a willing Doctor administers a legal drug actively ending the life. This is sometimes referred to as assisted suicide, or mercy killing. This practice is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, New Mexico, Montana, and New Jersey has begun the legislative process. (Debate.org) This death on ones “own terms” is called the Death with Dignity Act. According to Debate.org in the opinions of over 10,000 medical Doctors, 16% of physicians consider stopping
a life if the patient was terminally ill and suffering, 55% would never do it, and 46% say it should be allowed in some cases.
Could you imagine what it would feel like to have a terminal illness and be in so much pain that no amount of medication could make it go away? This is what people go through when they have terminal illnesses such as terminal brain cancer, Lou Gangs Disease, Lesch- Nyhan Disease, and so many more. In many cases these illnesses take over the body and eventually the person is just lying there in a negative state trapped in their own body. Brittany Maynard, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer made the decision to end her life because she wanted to die with dignity. Her husband Dan Diaz said, “The seizure she had that morning was a reminder of what she was risking because what was coming next was losing her eyesight, becoming paralyzed, and an inability to speak. And then essentially she would be trapped in her own body” (USATODAY).She passed away in her own bed peacefully with her husband by her side, instead of in a hospital bed hooked up to all sorts of machines and monitors. We should not make that decision for others it should be everyone’s personal choice if they are in that state. It is unfair for someone who has no idea what a person with a terminal illness goes through, to not give them that right. Euthanasia happens anyway, why not make it legal, and properly regulate it. On the opposite end, some might say that doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive as reflected by the Hippocratic Oath (Procon.org). The main issues with
Euthanasia are moral, social, and religious. As stated above doctors have a moral standard to uphold, they are supposed to do everything to keep their patients alive. “From a legal standpoint, the Encyclopedia of American Law categorizes mercy killing as a class of criminal homicide. Judicially, not all homicide is illegal” (Debate.org). So some people compare this to murder, saying the doctor is taking patients life ab dub turn should be charged with a criminal offense. Another standpoint is Religious views, many Christians believe that taking a life for any reason is interfering with God’s plan and is comparable to murder. However, other religions believe that drugs are made to end pain and suffering are God given and should be used (Debate.org). Some may say that if this becomes legalizes then it will in some cases become involuntary. “Drugs used in assisted suicides cast only $40, but that it could take $40,000 to treat a patient properly so that they don’t want ‘choice ‘ of assisted suicide…”(Wesley J. Smith). In the U.S. thousands of people have no medical insurance. Some studies have shown that the poor and minorities generally are not given access to available pain control, and managed-care facilities are