Euthanasia: Is There a Duty to Die? Before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward active euthanasia and suicide had tended to be tolerant. As Christianity continued to spread, religion became a major factor in influencing the actions and beliefs of many people; the idea of hastening a human’s death through euthanasia or assisted suicide no longer seemed humane. In the late 1900s, organized action in favor of the legislation of euthanasia and assisted suicide were taken back into consideration. During this time euthanasia was considered a “mercy killing,” a bringing about death to a sufferer. However, this action initially focused on newborns and young children; with the lack of medical advancements and technologies it was difficult for a child’s body to fight off illnesses on their own without the proper medication. Today, euthanasia and physician –assisted suicide (PAS) is a worldwide social issue. The idea of “playing God” to relieve a person of their illness through these actions is an issue that is accompanied by a profuse amount of ethical concerns and questions that surround the legalization of these actions. Focusing on one of many ethical problems of euthanasia and PAS is questioning the right of an individual who has no hope of recovery. Who has the right to decide when and how to end their life? What effects does it play on the patient, their family, physician and/or caretaker? Along with the aging of the population and progress in medicine, a significant number of terminally ill persons are maintained alive, regardless of the pain, suffering, depression, or other uncomfortable situations they undergo. Although there maybe terminally ill patients considering euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, these options are limited to a select few due to the legislation of these actions. The idea of hastening the death of terminally ill persons is illegal in almost all of the United States and some countries. The restricting legislation can put the patient and their family through often difficult times. As an illustration, when I was 15 years old, my Grandma was diagnosed with primary lung cancer; this is when cancer begins in the lungs and continues to spread if not treated. My Grandma resided in Mexico City, Mexico, making it difficult for my mom to fly down to visit and care for her mother. We would often receive calls from family members to keep us updated on her condition. My family and I would constantly pray for my Grandmother’s health, but despite our prayers her condition worsened. Slowly she began to lose her sight until she went completely blind, she lost motion in her legs, and lost her memory, my Grandma was no longer aware of who was in her presence. My family was cognizant of the fact that my Grandma was in a vegetative state and her life would soon come to an end. Despite the desire to hasten her death out of mercy, my family was unable to because of the legal issue physician-assisted suicide poses on other countries like Mexico, and most of the United States. For a patient who resides in locations where assisted suicide is legal, and meets all the requirements necessary for a physician to administer the action, it comes down to deciding between euthanasia or PAS. Is the final decision supported, argued against, or become biased based on the views of family, doctors, caretakers and/or others? Or should others also have the right to make the decision if the patient cannot manage it on their own? These concerns all reflect back to the ethical problems of a patient’s right in choosing how to end their life. The debate between euthanasia and PAS has continued throughout many years, creating more and more ethical concerns and questions; how and why is it that patients choose these pathways leading them to their dignified death, is it their decision or was their decision triggered by other factors; based on assembled information, each with a different perspective, and come to conclude the true
1. What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the act of intentionally killing someone to end suffering. To support this definition quoting from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: euthanasia is ("an action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may be eliminated.")- John Paul II's encyclical letter Number 65.
Euthanasia comes from the greek word euthanatos : 'well' 'death'
Euthanasia can be considered: voluntary - with the active…
Euthanasia, also known as assisted-suicide, physician-assisted-suicide, doctor-assisted suicide, and loosely termed mercy killing, by definition is to take deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable suffering. (What Is Euthanasia (assisted Suicide)? What Is The Definition Of Assisted Suicide Or Euthanasia? 1) In 1999, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in a maximum security prison for his work in assisting more…
The right of euthanasia must live on. If we can put a dog or other animal down when they are suffering with a simple needle, but we have to watch the people we love and care for suffer with tubes everywhere, frail and wasting away, no happiness and no life. Euthanasia is the way of ending the prolonging of suffering, whilst leaving life in peace. Imagine this, you are unable to walk, unable to talk, unable to function and unable to breathe properly let alone speak. Each day is a battle and filled…
Euthanasia - is it killing or letting die? In the last thirty years,
this has been a highly controversial topic, the worldly morals versus the
Christian. Although there are certain instances where it is justifiably
considered to be letting die, it is essentially killing.
Euthanasia comes from a Greek word, meaning "easy death," and is now
often associated with the infamous Dr. Kevorkian. There are three types of
euthanasia - what doctors consider to be "letting the patient…
While many people who live in the United States are living a happy and free life, others all around are fighting various illnesses, and diseases. They are approaching the end of their lives in an unfavorable manner. Examples may include enduring a terminal cancer, or someone who cannot function without a ventilator. Although some refer to it as “legalized murder”, euthanasia is something that is used to relieve one’s suffering and should be legal in the U.S (ProCon.org).…
The Case For
Elizabeth S. Davis
National American University
The purpose of this paper is to define euthanasia as well as give a brief history of the debate throughout the years. Then the author will show the reader that there is no reason as to why euthanasia has not been legalized. This paper will walk you through many aspects and issues of the debate and try to disprove those who wish to see the debate buried.
Euthanasia is the act…
Is Euthanasia The Only Way Out?
There are no guarantees in life except for one, death. Death is a natural and inevitable phase of the lifecycle. Unfortunately, today there are numerous people who are deadly sick and being kept alive by different medical techniques. Sadly, most of the deadly ill suffer throughout this time and they think that the only way to end their suffering is through euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as the action of a deliberately ending someone’s life under the impulse of…
Kevorkian a popular euthanasia activist, author and pathologist once said that “dying is not a crime” (“A Quote by Jack Kevorkian”). This short sentence covers the main idea of this paper. Euthanasia refers to the procedure by which an individual or an animal’s life is deliberately ended to stop suffering. There are numerous types of euthanasia, such as, passive, active, passive and active involuntary, voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. In this paper, active voluntary euthanasia is what will be…
Euthanasia Should Become Legal In America
Just picture yourself fighting for each breath you take; you can’t even move your muscles without excruciating pain shooting through your limbs. Imagine your family members sitting in a small enclosed hospital room watching you suffer day after day with multiple tubes entering and exiting your body with strong medicines flowing through them just to keep you alive. Just to keep the pain at ease; even though they’re barley helping. Would you want to live you…
April 2nd 2014
Dictionary.com provides the following: eu·tha·na·sia, ˌyo͞oTHəˈnāZHə/ noun
The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries. This is the dictionary
definition of euthanasia. Euthanasia is a very important and critical topic to talk about. Both sides of this issue can be argued very well. This paper is going to show the negative side of euthanasia, but also show…