Euthanasia is murder? Then masturbation is rape. That's the logical denouement you must accept if you throw the notion of informed consent out the window.Duncanmajinda wrote:This world is full of miracles including miracles of survival and recovery from illness. In that respect, the term terminal illness makes sense only if you mean that under normal circumstances, the illness is incurable. If you believe in miracles like myself, there is always a chance that a miracle may occur and a person may survive or recover gainst all odds. Euthanasia precludes any such chances and odds and it is bad although the motive may be good i.e. to end any further suffering. Taking my argument further, euthanasia is tantamount to murder of some degree.
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If perfection was the baseline for anything we did, we would never do anything. Human error will be a constant aspect of everything we do. That doesn't mean we should just let people suffer. Or eviscerate patient autonomy just because you disagree with their choices.Zoot wrote:In a world with a perfect medical system, it'd be a debate worth having. Until then, I'm against it for purely practical reasons.
I know of too many horror stories from my own family and my friends to even consider allowing euthanasia. There's too much negligence, too many mistakes, too many understaffed hospitals, too many DNR orders given against the wishes of the patient & the patient's family...
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Another person might have a different opinion as to the morality of such an act, and they'd be free to allow their loved one to suffer and suffer, but such a decision would seem to me wrongheaded. In my opinion morality is strictly individual. There's no such thing as an absolute or universal set of rules. Mine tells me that morality is based on being good to others and that we should reduce suffering wherever possible. Blindly following rules set up by someone else as a guide to how we should behave seems nuts to me.
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With this I mean that it is not always morally right to do what you and the people around you think is the good thing to do. For example, it is to most people obviously the right thing to do to save peoples' lives where we can and that can easily also cover those with no will or no ability to stay alive on their own. However, acting on what is the right thing for us to do might mean we are putting our own desire to act morally over what might actually be more pragmatic. And sometimes, maybe what is practical should win over what is ethical.
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Euthanasia can be classified into two different types, being either active or passive. An active euthanasia happens when a medical physicist or another person deliberately causes the patients death. Whereas passive euthanasia occurs when the patient’s life is not directly taken, the patient is simply allowed to die without the medical intervention of the professionals. In other words, the doctors either stop supplying the medical attention needed to keep the patient alive, such as switching life support machines off, disconnecting the feeding tube, not carrying out the life-extending operations, not giving life-extending drugs and such. Active euthanasia is separated into three different categories, being voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is done with the consent of the patient. The term "assisted-suicide" is often used instead since the physicist assists the patient when ending his or her life. Non-voluntary euthanasia is done without the permission of the patient since that patient is unable to consent due to mental or physical reasons. Involuntary euthanasia is done against the persons will, as in patients who want to live, but are euthanized regardless.
The word euthanasia is derived from the Greek word “Eu”, which means good, and “Thanatoisis”, which means death. If we were to connect these words, it would be “good death”, or in other words, “merciful killing”. The practice of Euthanasia dates back to Ancient Greece and Rome where subjects, who were being terminated, would be given things such as hemlock, which is a poisonous plant that speeds the process of death. They used this method more as a means of killing someone painlessly. As time passed, the practice of euthanasia caused many debates. That's when, in 1892, with the introduction of the criminal code in Canada, came the law where all forms of suicide were considered a criminal offense in accordance with section 241(b):
"Everyone is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years who, whether suicide ensues or not, counsel a person to die by suicide or abets a person in dying by suicide; or aids a person to die by suicide."
However, in 1972, suicide was decriminalized, yet assisted-suicide remained as a criminal offense. On February 6th 2015, following the Carter v Canada case, the Supreme court of Canada judged that assisted suicide with the help of doctors was allowed as a legal procedure if and only if the patient clearly consents to the termination of his or her own life, and if the medical condition of the patient is very severe, incurable and if the patient is enduring intolerable suffering.
The most important aspect that led to the supreme court making its decision to the decriminalization of euthanasia was the Carter v Canada case. This case was put into place by several parties, namely, the family of Kay Carter, a woman who was suffering from a degenerative spinal stenosis, and Gloria Taylor, a woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to abolish the criminalization of assisted-suicide. Their main argument was that that both section 14 and section 241(b) of the criminal code violated sections 7, which is the right to “life, liberty and security of that person, and violated section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of rights and freedom, which guarantees equal rights to all.
Because Euthanasia is a very debated subject, many countries worldwide share different views on the manner. For example, countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium, were the first countries to legalize euthanasia for their patients back in 2002, while their close neighbor France shares a different view, making euthanasia and physicist assisted-suicide illegal. In Germany, physicist euthanasia is legal only if the patient can take the medication without anyone’s help. Switzerland has legalized assisted-suicide under certain conditions, like the individual must have no “self-seeking motives”. Euthanasia is so controversial that even within a country, some areas have legalized it while others haven’t. For instance, in the United-States, only a few states such as Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana and New Mexico have legalized euthanasia.
The reason euthanasia is so controversial is due to the conflict of values between people. Everyone has a different view on this issue, some religious, some financial, some from experience. There are many religious views on euthanasia, but almost all religions are against its practice. For example, some believe that death is an important journey in one’s life and that sickness is an occasion for spiritual enlightenment. Most religions with a supreme God believe that all life is sacred and because it is given by God, only God can decide when to take it away; humans should not interfere with this decision. Turning towards a doctor’s view on the issue, almost all of them are against such practice because even before they become professionals, they must swear upon the Hippocratic oath. This oath states that a doctor must “not give a lethal drug to anyone if asked, nor advise such a plan”. This is just a small part of the Hippocratic oath which clearly goes against the practice of euthanasia. Other dilemmas against euthanasia are that some patients may feel pressured into giving consent. Such as pressure from their families and friends that are suffering just as much from watching the patient in such a state. Another factor that comes into play is that there’s a small possibility of the patient recovering from the terminal illness.
The reason some may be for euthanasia may be the financial aspect of maintaining a patient alive. For instance, it can cost between 2000 to 4000 dollars a day to maintain a terminally-ill patient on life support, and it may be even higher depending on the treatment, while it would only cost around 100 dollars to sort to euthanasia. On average, each province in Canada spends roughly 4.7 billion dollars on terminally-ill patients who are to pass in the coming year. It is also estimated that Canada could save up to 138.8 million dollars with the implementation of euthanasia. When I analyze the facts, and take into consideration all the values behind euthanasia and consider my morals, I set myself to believe that assisted-suicide should be a legalized process. When looking at this topic through the views of the Utilitarian perspective, we can realize that it is morally deplorable to criminalize euthanasia. Utilitarianism is an ethical doctrine which states “that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility”. In this case, the term “utility” is defined as happiness, pleasure and a reduced amount of pain. Meaning that an action is deemed morally right if they promote happiness and is deemed bad if it encourages unwanted results. By giving into the patient’s desires, euthanasia would increase the overall happiness of patients, their families, and friends while decreasing the pain dealt by the issue; the means are justified and it is considered morally correct. It would increase the happiness of the patient because they will know that they have the right to a choice, and the right to die with dignity. It will increase the happiness of the family and friends because it shortens their grief and shortens the patient’s needlessly slow death. The criminalization of euthanasia is also morally degraded by the epicureanism standpoint, which states “that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquillity, freedom from fear and absence from bodily pain”. In this case, to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear, one must have the option to end their life via euthanasia and have a piece of mind knowing that they will not be causing any of their family and friends longer grief. Epicureanism is a system of philosophy that is based on the teaching of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. He suggested that death cannot hurt us and that we cannot suffer from death since it ends all ability of suffering. In addition, most of the time, being a terminally-ill patient causes pain, mentally and physically, so having the option to be euthanized could rid the patient of their discomforts. When a patient is terminally-ill, that patient is most of the time bed bound. They are ultimately stuck to the bed and can hardly perform any actions because of their state. This usually means that the individual is no longer able to continue drawing his portrait. According to Sartre, man is nothing else but what he desires to accomplish, and that man only exists to realize himself. That a man's life is viewed by the sum of his actions. Thus, when a patient is bedridden, they can no longer realize themselves, since there isn’t any more actions to be accomplished. The patient's life is viewed by their previous actions and as such, their portrait should not be viewed on when bedridden. If the individual can no longer draw anymore, he then no longer exists.
Using the values from utilitarianism and epicureanism ideology, we can see why this controversial issue is degrading to the individuals affected by the criminalization of euthanasia. Not having the liberty to resort to euthanasia should not be an additional worry patients and their families, who are already put under stress, should have to go through. Furthermore, the publics general opinion on euthanasia is slowly becoming more accepting. Hospitals should give the choice of life back to the patients.
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Pro life means to say no to life when this means this other person cannot live with dignity and free of suffering. I understand why some people can be against euthanasia and argue the palliative care is enough to grant that person a comfortable life. It is not. Unfortunately there are diseases that are just beyond our grasp to understand and treat. The most humane thing we can do is accept there is no possible way to help this person, except granting a dignified way for those who want to leave this world.
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It is at its worst when it deludes us into thinking we have all the answers for everybody else.
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Through the process of assisted suicide terminally ill patients can quickly end their suffering and reduce the financial burden on their families. Throughout the centuries, medicine has been advancing so that people can be cured of their conditions and heal injuries. Unfortunately, medicine is not capable of curing everything so patients with terminal illness are just prolonging the inevitable by staying in hospitals and undergoing treatments. Monthly hospital bills can vary from $2,000-$10,000 per month. Terminal illness such as cancer are treatable but the cost is steep, only to prolong life for a few months. For instance, the chemotherapy drug Avastin used to treat breast cancer costs $55,000 (Richard Meyer). Families simply do not have the resources or money to keep their relatives in the hospital nor afford treatments. The patients know this to and would not want to cause their families financial burden so they seek out euthanization to conclude their life and peacefully pass. In addition, patients suffering from their sickness may experience excruciating pain. Those with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, for instance, have a deficiency of the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase enzyme which results in the build up of uric acid. Enough uric acid may cause severe gout, lack of muscle control and retardation. In the later stages, uric acid can cause swelling in the joints and kidney issues (LiveStrong). They die slowly from kidney failure, although a slow and painful death can be replaced by a quick and painless death via euthanization. Patients can decide when the procedure will occur and have ample time to prepare and say their goodbyes. The process saves the patient and their families from suffering further.
Opening your eyes, you smile at your wife. Just married you have an entire lifetime to spend with her. One year later, you receive a call that she had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. They diagnosed her with terminal heart cancer. Struggling every month to pay for the treatments and hospital bills, you realize her condition isn’t improving and you’re just prolonging the inevitable. She’s been experience heart burns every day and without notice she passed away alone and in pain. Unfortunately, this situation is a real life occurrence for families but the misery can be minimized by undergoing euthanization. A couple underwent assisted suicide after being diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Charlie and Francie Emerick were able to die together and say their goodbyes. They were aware of their deaths and prepared for it before ingesting lethal doses of pills (Times). There is no feeling worse than being alone when you are suffering and no one wants to die alone. Assisted suicide can help ensure that you are surrounded by family and ready to leave. The idea seems wrong but try being in the shoes of a terminally ill patient. Everyday your family visits you, well knowing the cost of the hospital bills they have to pay. Everyday you’re battling with the illness and usually in pain but still getting weaker. People such as Noel Conway, who was diagnosis with ALS have to hoisted from bed to chair and depends on a ventilator to breathe. He sought out assisted suicide to end his pain. (Dignity in Dying). In order to stop the family’s pain and the patients suffering assisted suicide should be legalized.
Some people may argue that it is morally wrong since doctors who are suppose to help and cure patients are doing the opposite and “killing them.” This is true, but the patients give them their consent and the process ensures that it is safe. Doctors are not permitted to perform assisted suicide if the prognosis is over 6 months. Physicians make sure that the patient is mentally stable and are certain. Then they are allowed to prescribe them lethal drugs but the doctor can refuse. Only if both parties feel it is the best option available will the procedure take place (Daniel Engber). It can also be argued that the assisted suicide eliminates the chances of someone outliving their prognosis. However, even if you outlive it, again it’s only prolonging the inevitable since there is no cure for most terminal illnesses and more problems will be created. People outliving the prognosis will still be reliant on medications and more bills will build up, increasing the financial burden. Furthermore, it is pointed out that assisted suicide violates the codes of medicine. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, stating that they must help people to the best of their abilities and bring no harm to their patients intentionally (MedicineNet). However, this oath is violated by other forms of treatments. For instance, chemotherapy is the use of radiation to stop the division of cancer cells but it is considered toxic and results in numerous side effects. This shows that some methods in medicine are harmful but beneficial for the patient. Assisted suicide is not forced as an option to terminally ill patients, but is given as an option.
To conclude, assisted suicide should be a method legalized and used only under the right circumstances. It saves families from financial burden and end one’s suffering peacefully. It is practiced under good intentions and perhaps if we appeal to the Legislative assisted suicide can be legalized throughout the country. It’ll result in less complications and painless ends. This essay is not to condone suicide but support the option that give those who are suffering ways to die painlessly. Instead of watching our loved ones die slowly, we can use euthanization to let them pass away peacefully.