Euthanasia. Dimensions of Religion and Attitudes

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 8
Words: 2271
Reading time:
9 min
Study level: Bachelor

The examination of the importance of human existence has been a significant issue, and the debate about ending the lives of individuals has existed for years. People have strived to find an absolute response to it. Some individuals argue that life is supernaturally given and that no one has the liberty to take it away from anyone. In contrast, others postulate that they have the power to end their existence. These various varied deliberations on euthanasia have been in existence since they involve a delicate subject-human life. Many countries have debated aided death, whereby government officials and healthcare providers have presented different ideas. Even though many people have argued that euthanasia should not be exercised, euthanasia can be practiced since it is one of the current controversial issues in the world.

Euthanasia means taking away the life of a highly ill individual to alleviate their pain. While the debate has been on whether to legalize it in every state, some states in the United States have already passed the euthanasia bill. Other countries that have permitted euthanasia include Belgium, Luxemburg, and Netherlands (Barnett et al. 198). By definition, euthanasia is easy to comprehend; however, the act has led to many conversations and arguments.

In life, it is hard to establish the exact time when one will die, and the debate is on the conscience context. If one experiences extreme pain, it becomes hard for the individual to instruct the physician clearly. Patients may not understand the illness, and their decision to obtain euthanasia can be based only on the intentions of alleviating pain (Green et al. 6). In this context, the doctors state that the patient’s family members should be given the decision’s privileges. Furthermore, the debate becomes completely difficult when the patient involved is a child. In this case, it leaves the parents with a hard choice that majorly determines the future of the young one. Children’s euthanasia is also referred to as a toddler killing since the infant cannot convey their decision on the dilemma.

Furthermore, newborns barely comprehend the situation they are in, and the decision is solemnly left in the hands of the parents or guardian. While watching an infant suffer instills grief to the parents, in such context, the quality of medication and the expenditures attached should be evaluated carefully before a decision is made. In all the context of euthanasia, one should consider whether it is humane to rescue an infant or let them endure pain.

The right to depart this life ought to be an own preference. According to Michael Irwin, a coordinator at the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide, human beings can choose all things in their existence (Lo 2061). These issues range from what to eat to who to marry. Michael further argued that if one can choose what they want in life, then everyone should also be allowed to decide at the end of their life regardless of whether it’s due to diseases or age. Humans support that life is meaningful, and people hope that everyone lives a long life (Chong et al. 80). However, the policies should be modified to give room for some exceptions. Such exceptions include allowing the highly ill patients with incurable conditions or diseases to be aided to die. Michael further postulated that he would be comfortable being helped to die as he wouldn’t like to be reserved against his wish.

Richard Doerflinger, a public policy fellow at the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University Of Notre Dame and a strong oppose of assisted murder, postulated that debating to help someone die does not alleviate anguish (Sabriseilabi and Williams 7). Richard explained that assisted death hands over pain and fear to individuals with a similar condition. Persons who have succumbed to drug misuse have no option (Sheldon). In this context, assisted death as a solution to suffering demotivates the physicians and the society from portraying empathy and seeking answers.

People have argued some patients request for injection with a deadly drug, not because of pain or fear but their unease of becoming a burden to others and self-esteem loss (Hernandez et al. 132). Therefore, individuals can learn that legalization laws foster such thoughts. The most viable option is to guard such persons and counsel them to realize that they are not a burden and their dignity is not lost. The author favors the authorization of doctor-aided death to patients whose anguish cannot be alleviated in any way. Marcia Angell, a senior lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard University and a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, was among the first campaigner for the legalization of the Death with Dignity Act in Massachusetts (Koopman 1010). The former editors support the law by telling a story of a parent who shot himself other than suffering prolonged death caused by prostate cancer.

Marcia argued that the claim by the opposers that doctors are only supposed to be a healer is doctor-centered and barely focuses on the ill (Koopman 1012). The lecturer further states that the principal role of a doctor s to heal. However, in situations where healing is unattainable or where demise is imminent, and the ill find their misery excruciating, then the responsibility of a doctor should change from curing the disease to lessening the pain. The aspect of alleviating the pain should be based on the patient’s desire. Furthermore, no doctor should be coerced to any request to aid the ill to die, just like no sick person should be forced into deciding on such a matter. The act of assisting a patient to die should be voluntary for both the ill and the caregiver.

Choosing between existence and demise is comprehensible but disastrous. Patients suffering from incurable diseases have to settle on either life or death. In most cases, such patients focus on death when pain is extreme. Nonetheless, allowing the doctor to take part in aided death would do more damage because causing death is not the physician’s responsibility, as such would create more public threats. Correspondingly, the role of a doctor as a healer is incompatible with euthanasia. Permission of health caregivers, to practice euthanasia increases the need for ethical limitation as to the doctor who practices euthanasia, discharges the different and unique duty of helping individuals to commit suicide.

The former governor of California, Jerry Brown, argued in support of doctor-aided death. According to Brown, the heart of euthanasia is whether California State should persist in terming the act of ending life crime regardless of the intense pain and affliction. After careful examination of the matter and the evidence offered by several physicians, spiritual leaders, and disability activists, the former governor stated that intentional administration of euthanasia is sinful and wrong (Rietjens et al. 11). Similarly, the governor examined the letters written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Brittany Maynard’s relatives, and a reflection of what decision he would make when in the same situation. In his reasoning, brown did not clearly state what he would do when faced with death characterized by intense pain. However, he was sure that having a bill that gave the ill a choice would be more comforting.

Different people have argued about euthanasia and its impacts on society. For instance, in his counterargument, Peter Kavanagh argued that passing a bill that allowed euthanasia would have intense yet far-reaching harmful effects Rietjens et al. 10). The act would be murdering individuals who would not legitimately desire to be executed. Furthermore, although highly observed, any protection accorded to such an act would deteriorate at some point. The former politician further stated that legalizing euthanasia would have more consequences they cannot foresee at the moment.

Roger Crisp, a professor of ethical ideologies at the University of Oxford stated that statistics from regions where doctor-aided death has been allowed portray that the opponents of such policies are unfounded (Vandenberghe 886). Helena Berger, a fierce opponent of euthanasia, argued that having a law legalizing assisted homicide is dangerous since it has too many loopholes and repercussions. While Helena opposes euthanasia, Robert Olvera, a retired family doctor, differs from her. Olvera argues that whereas a doctor’s responsibility is to heal, there are people who require assistance to die. Many people agree with Olvera as prolonging death in some situations is obstructive and inexpedient. The former doctor further stated that every doctor aims to help the sick and obey the Hippocratic Oath (Rada 147). His daughter, who suffered for 17 years with leukemia, requested to be given enough nap pills to die at some point. If Mr. Olvera knew that euthanasia was legal in some regions of the country, understanding his daughter’s desires, he would have requested aided death.

Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Ronald Pies states that the hesitancy and distress endured by several doctors who take part in euthanasia are coupled to the oath they take. The commitment says that the doctor will neither administer lethal medication even at the request of a patient nor even suggest the existence of such drugs (Li et al. 2088). If the ill express anxiety over death or are denied self-respect, considerate and kind counseling should be accorded and not helping them execute the murder. He further proposes the administration of euthanasia based on the American Civil Liberties Union privileges.

One of the rights states that fatally sick persons should be protected from intense pain by adopting appropriate and decorous death. The act is based on the person as is the right protected by the law on matters relating to union, contraception, and the rejection or execution of life through the withdrawal of life-supporting medication. According to Tom Coburn, a former US senator, allowing euthanasia permits the doctors to decide which patient lives and dies. Tom concluded his postulation by adding that their sovereignty stated that all persons have the privilege to living and contentment. Therefore, he noted that the euthanasia law should be abolished entirely. While helping someone die is not the most appropriate way to care for the ill, it combines the care aspects of the patient to respect the ill’s opinion as it makes such death dignified. A fierce critic of the law is that euthanasia is slowly becoming an acknowledged way of tackling incurable sicknesses.

Scholars have also focused on euthanasia and how it can impact people in various ways. Timothy Quil, a pro-life professor at the University of Rochester, argued that it would be difficult to term immensely suffering patients like criminals (Bahník et al. 233). Instead, the debate should be based on alleviating the excruciating pain experienced by the sick. Timothy further expounded that other than healing, the additional role of a doctor is to help the ill die better. Timothy added that it troubles him when the role of a physician is defined from a healing point of view and not from the care point of view.

In disagreement with the authorization of euthanasia, Stefan, a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, asserts that no right allows the doctors to be tools of murder (Bahník et al. 231). According to Stefan, the role of a health caregiver is to inform the sick about the illness, heal, and inform them on the most likely outcome of the disease. Furthermore, through the treatment, the role of a physician should be repulsing death other than killing the patients. According to a report done by Compass and Choices, there have not been financial motivations to pile pressure on the sick (Bahník et al. 231). The report further stated that many patients who sought physician-assisted death were registered for hospice care as there was no monetary enticement to encourage the patient to seek death (Scherrens et al. 493). Some people have also argued that the death of a person means the start of a financial journey for the bereaved

Moreover, debts and other financial responsibilities are not settled by death. However, with euthanasia in the picture for persons with fatal, incurable diseases, the relatives can plan for life after death, making the switch easier for everyone. Having control over the ultimate choice of existence reduces the emotional and physical suffering toll instigated by the sickness. Euthanasia not only alleviates the suffering for the sick but also for the family members. Having control over one’s pain is ideal, although it involves a person’s family and friends. Typically, no one would be pleased to see their family members experience misery. Although the result of euthanasia or not is death, it would be healthier to die than living for few more months in excruciating pain. Every individual’s circumstance is exceptional, and people should be allowed to decide to end their lives based on their desires.

To conclude, all individuals understand that regardless of how long one lives, death is inevitable. Therefore, the euthanasia context can be debated on so many grounds. Whether patients with life-threatening diseases pursue euthanasia or not, the chances are that they die in the future. People can also validate euthanasia because it alleviates severe agony, and it also saves health finances that other family members could use. Moreover, euthanasia should put into considerations all the parties involved. This includes the physician, the family members, and the patient. Additionally, if the sick are mentally fit and desires to end their life, their decision must be respected. Governments should also analyze the advantages and disadvantages of aided death to determine whether it should be exercised. Healthcare providers were also encouraged to educate the public about assisted death and its impact on patient outcomes. Therefore, there are various issues involving euthanasia, which has made it a controversial issue.

Works Cited

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