Terminally ill patients can choose whether to end their lives on their own terms, just like those who choose to commit suicide. Neither the law, nor the society condemn suicide. And sure enough, there is no legal norm that prohibits taking your own life. Additionally, it can be argued that depriving a suffering person from a means of relief is a violation of human rights.
Argument against Euthanasia
What are these reasons? Objectively, a threat that the power to conduct euthanasia will be abused. With the current state of medicine in the U.
An unsuccessfully performed clinical trial or surgery? A threat to profits? Any other possible implications? When money or careers are at stake, anything could happen. Therefore, the primary concern is that adopting euthanasia as a human right will push the legislative system and moral norms down the slippery slope, at the end of which a human life will value as little as it did in the Medieval times. The development of medicine, the appearance of innovative ways to control pain and make the last months of life as comfortable as possible are also reasons why the anti-euthanasia party is full of hope.
And of course, the lucidity issue. How lucid is a person that suffers from severe pain every day of the week to decide on the feasibility to end his or her own life? Will the pain and emotional stress cloud their judgment? Can a person that has taken the Hippocratic Oath rely on such judgment in giving a lethal injection? But we encourage you to look deeper. It is true that patients may suffer avoidable pain due to a lack of palliative care services and poor education of clinical staff. Spurned by Denton et al.
Life is never the disease. And death is never the cure. Many of the horror stories are the result of grief-stricken family members unprepared for, poorly communicated to and given no bereavement counselling after the death of their loved one. These are complex issues and will not be untangled by a clean kill.
Over the 12 years that I have worked as a doctor in large public hospitals, I have cared for hundreds of dying patients. No one has ever died screaming or begging for me to kill them.
Patients have told me they want to die. I have never seen a dying patient whose physical suffering was untreatable. The combination of morphine and midazolam is extremely powerful; it can be administered and titrated up very quickly. Barbiturates can render one unconscious in minutes. Palliative care practices have come a long way in the past decade. Studies repeatedly show that the desire to hasten death for those with a terminal illness comes principally from a feeling of hopelessness.
We must listen to and attempt to address this and other fears. Knowing one is dying can be excruciating: the terror of non-existence. For thousands of well-educated, affluent people in vocal advocacy groups, a euthanasia drug like Nembutal is the sole way to wrest control of the only part of their life they may not fully control. The simplistic understanding of the human subject as a wholly autonomous individual is based on an ideology that dovetails with our other current dominant ideology: the free market.
Persuasive Essay on Euthanasia | Teen Ink
In the lived world, both mostly benefit the privileged. The act of caring for someone is viewed as a cost rather than a mutually enriching experience. We place people in nursing homes, which accelerate cognitive and physical decline — leave in their cataracts, leave out their teeth and hearing aids, trap them in front of a TV with a tea-towel for a bib, and avoid touching them unless absolutely necessary. And then we find them disgusting.
Our horror at the thought of requiring assistance or care has a huge impact on those who do. It has always surprised me that progressive political parties in Western nations are the loudest advocates of euthanasia.
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If death becomes an option in the face of debility, then debility is turned into a lifestyle choice. Lifestyle choices are the responsibility of the individual. Our social responsibility is dissolved. Care for the elderly and disabled is handed out stingily and begrudgingly because people are economic units who can only be individually productive or not.
Formal consent is no guarantee of a decision freely taken. How should we as a society respond to it? What does it mean for our core practice of medicine if we no longer seek to help people for whom life has become so painful they want to exit, but instead assist them to die? Some call this brave. You need a second opinion! As if that is some sort of safeguard in the face of state-sanctioned killing. Not so long ago, lobotomy was the treatment of choice. You needed a second opinion for that too.
The Difficulties of Writing a Euthanasia Essay
Doctors can be as crazy, unwise, mistaken and misguided as anyone. How should we triage people into suicide assistance and suicide prevention queues? The degree of suffering is always subjective. The human animal has an extraordinary capacity to find meaning in and even enjoy a life marked by limited function and debility — particularly if care is freely offered. They are experiencing pain they find insufferable, often despite no organic pathology, often in the context of psychosocial chaos. Should these people be offered death? Or should we instead continue to provide psychological and social support, and to research neuroplastic ways to help these people find peace?
Why bother, if we decide death is the treatment? Existential suffering is felt by most people at some point, certainly most people with a serious disease, and can be a source of wisdom. To refuse treatment is a right. To demand care is a right. It is not illegal to commit suicide — though we try to prevent its enactment. To kill or to ask to be killed is not a moral or legal right.
Euthanasia is a cheap solution to the difficult and complex problem of caring for those dependent, suffering and dying.
We search for a clear line beyond which we should agree: Yes, your life is not worth living. The line is always arbitrary. And it is a cliff, not a line.