Euthanasia Research Paper

Submitted By sarahdiebs
Words: 2728
Pages: 11

Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia :
Ethical and Legal Conflict within the United Kingdom It was April 15th in 1989, when Anthony Bland was on his way to watch the FA Cup semi-final at one of England's most famous football clubs in Hillsborough. What Bland, and other football fans throughout England thought would be a memorable football game, between some of England's most acclaimed teams, turned out to be a monumental disaster. The focus of this sporting event was not on the playing field, but instead was aimed towards the tragic event that occurred within the stands of Hillsborough's Sheffield Wednesday's stadium.
Police had been placed throughout the stadium to patrol the anxious fans attending the venue. Unfortunately, the police could not control the copious amount of fans trying to find their seats to watch the game. After packing in over 5,000 more fans than the venue's official desired capacity, the stadium gave way, leading to the chaotic crowd, resulting in the death of 96 people. (BBC News) Fortunately, Bland was not one of these 96 people. However, he did suffer from brain injuries that eventually led to him falling into a lengthy coma lasting for three years. (BBC News) Bland's coma was not only a feat that him, his friends, and his family were forced to deal with. His devastating condition contributed to a nation-wide debate within in the U.K. The debate stemmed from the fact that when a person(patient) is experiencing a coma or other serious medical conditions, there is a question of how to deal with the ongoing pain the patient is experiencing. Euthanasia is one option that patients explore when undergoing painful experiences like that of Bland's. Euthanasia is defined as “the intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable or painful disease intended as an act of mercy.”( Nordqvist) The practice is illegal in most countries, including the United Kingdom. In recent years, a popular controversy has arose within the United Kingdom. The controversy stems from the question of whether or not the practice of euthanasia should be legalized. United Kingdom’s parliament has developed views regarding the legalities connected to euthanasia. Parliament is aiming to determine whether the legalization of euthanasia would be ethical or not. Legalizing euthanasia in the U.K. would prevent terminal patients from undue misery. However, it is important that the patients and their symptoms adhere to a standard set of conditions. This could help to determine whether euthanasia was the best choice for them. Along with these specified conditions, regulations could be designated for the process of the procedure to helping to create a less cruel death for the patients. They could help to eliminate the unpleasant stigma that death holds within our society. Designating a single set of rules and regulations for this process would help to protect patients from being pressured or depreciated due to their disability, age, or cost of their treatment. Abiding by set procedures would be beneficial when assessing the practice of euthanization. It would help to eliminate the controversy that stems from the euthanasia debate, as well as create an alternative solution for a number of ill and suffering patients.
United Kingdom’s parliament reasons the costs and benefits of legalizing euthanasia through referencing past court cases. U.K. law journals and reviews - the New Law Journal, The Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, The Criminal Law Review, Cambridge Law Journal - recorded relating court cases that occurred during euthanasia related court cases. A peer judicial in the House of Lords in U.K. parliament known as Lord Brown-Wilkinson, provides his reasoning concerning the euthanasia. In addition to past court cases, credited health reporters like Philippa Roxby, address the topic with in articles that are published in prominent U.K. news sources like BBC. These cases take a similar path when addressing the issue of