Ms. E. Guevara
English II T/Th 2nd
6 February, 2015
Right to Die
About five years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with Melanoma. She was given a year to live, and in that one year, it advanced aggressively. Her strength faded, the light in her eyes dimmed, and she was no longer the carefree, patient grandmother my siblings and I grew up with. Those last twelve months were spent in and out of the hospital and eventually hospice. She was in very noticeable pain, and the pain medication that was prescribed could not ease all her discomfort. Not only was it hard for us to see her in this agony, but it was also difficult financially. The medical bills were costly, and we could just afford the care my grandmother needed. Although we reassured her otherwise countless times, she constantly apologized for being a burden. They tried to make her last weeks as comfortable as possible, but this did not make her feel any less of an encumbrance. She didn’t want to go on, but the doctors refused to stop treatment. I believe voluntary euthanasia for her and similar cases is the best option for not only the patient, but the family too. Euthanasia should be allowed to end the suffering of terminally ill patients and those in extreme agony.
The end of life option allows terminally ill patients to end their suffering. This option is known as Euthanasia: the intentional killing of a dependent person for their benefit (Euthanasia
1). The killing is done by lethal injection or suspension of medical treatment. Euthanasia is only legal in few states and countries as of right now. In the United States, Oregon, Washington,
Montana, and recently added to the list in 2013, Vermont have legalized euthanasia (New Health
Guide 1). Other countries include the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc.
Netherlands being the oldest country to have it legalized beginning 2001. In these locations, euthanasia has helped many people suffering to end just that, their suffering. Those with terminal illnesses that were prognosed by doctors a limited time to live, are given the option, but must meet criteria to qualify for the lethal injection. This law helps prevent the targeting of the vulnerable such as infants, the elderly who suffer from dementia, alzheimers, and for anyone else who suffers from psychological disorders like depression (Patients Rights Council 1). Not only does euthanasia give people an option to end their pain, it gives them an option to discontinue their physical conditions as well. These conditions include vomiting, dyspnea, and paralysis.
Euthanasia also gives the patient control of their life in an uncontrollable situation. Many people fear the loss of control or dignity. Rather than the inevitable loss of bodily control that typically happens, they are given the alternative to end their life before their symptoms become more troublesome. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, only one third of the patients who requested euthanasia wanted it to end pain. It was more so requested to end their symptoms (BBC 1). A high percentage of the applications were from people who suffered terminal illnesses. Terminal illnesses are something doctors have little to no control over, for medicine has not found the cures needed to treat them. Patients also have the choice to refuse treatment should they believe it won’t help or cure them thus giving them options and control over the end of their life. In Europe, there is the European Declaration of Human Rights which gives citizens the right to not be forced to suffer. For many people, it is a dignified way of ending their life as opposed to suffering the indignities of being diaper changed, bathed, hand fed, and
Garza 3 overall unable to care for themselves. There is no point in living a life that you can not do anything in anymore. There is no use in prolonging the inevitable.