Essays About Euthanasia
Larry Bennet, a Dentist for thirty-five years, father of three, and grandfather of six, wakes up in the middle of the night in a coughing fit.Larry wheezes and wraps his arm around his gut in pain as he coughs into his shoulder. Between is sporadic coughs Larry looks his arm and sees irregular speckles of red dotting his skin. In a worry Larry wakes his wife and they rush to the emergency room where they stay for the remained of the nigh to do testing on Larry. Eventually his coughing stops, and everything seems fine to him, but the doctor come back with results reporting that Larry has developeda terminal case oflung cancer. After months, theillnessspreads and gives the Larry astronomical pain. Hefeelsweak, incapacitated,and scared at the fact that as time goes on the pain will only get worse and worse and only after the worst will he be free from the pain. Should Larry have to suffer through all this pain even though there is no chance for him to live past the illness? Should Larry be able to choose how he wants his body treated and be able to leave on his own terms and be free of pain?Though the story of Larry Bennet was fiction, the circumstances that he faced are very real. The right to die has been a heavily debated topic in America for many years due to religious, moral, and person beliefs imbedded in our society. The word euthanasia is usually seen in two different lights. For some,euthanasia is equivalent to murder. However, for others, euthanasia is giving someone the ability to end their own life painlessly.After studying both arguments, a sympathetic person must agree
Trevathan 2that sane patients with a terminal disease should be given the right to assisted suicide in order to their pain with dignity in a humane way,to use their right to choose what kind of treatment they want andexit a life that they no longer want to live.The medical field has done amazing feats in order to prolong the lives of humans. With the ability to restart a heart, support a patientfailing kidneys, and replace and repair broken bones and organs. For those people in those circumstances medical practices are a truly life saving gift. However, for terminally illpatients, these practices are just a way to prolong their suffering. Instead of being able to cure these patients, medicine is only able to give patients more time to live in pain and agony.For example, in Sandra Alters’s article Suicide, Euthanasia, andPhysician Assisted Suicideshe presents a list of the top reasons people requested assisted suicide from their doctors and the top reason were “Wanting to control circumstance of death”, “future poor quality of life”, and “Future pain,” (8). There are some issues that medicine cannot fix or dull and there is no reason that they should be required to live through such pain. A terminal patient of sane mind must be allowed the option of assisted suicide because it may be in the best interest of that person toexit life and leave their suffering before it worsens. Further, many terminal patients want the right to choose euthanasia or assisted suicide because it means to accept the end without any unneeded cost and pain. Many, also, believe that the ability to choose euthanasia or assisted suicide is a liberty that shouldn’t have to be given to the them. It is a liberty that cannot be ignored, as dying patients may uses this liberty in a pursuit of happiness.
Trevathan 3Finally, different individuals have different reactions to illness. While some people may have a fighting spirt and want fight with a terminal aliment until the end, there are others that do not care for the trouble of it. Be it through pain or acceptance, those individuals are ready to end their life and have a limited time to live should not be held back from doing so. Stated in the declaration of independence “The Right to Life…” is granted to every American, and within reason that extends to the right to our death. As a patient’slifecomesto an end, it should not be a third parties’choice what happens to them. A patient should be empowered to make their own choice, and have the people surrounding them there to support their decision. On the opposing side of the issue, people who are against assisted suicide do not believe that a terminally ill patient has the right to end their suffering. These people hold that euthanasia and assisted suicide go against the Hippocratic Oath for doctors. However, most people that argue this more than likely do not know that only a “few medical schools use the Hippocratic Oath” sinceit is not consistent with its premises (Barnard 28). The Hippocratic Oath makes physicians vow to treat pain and not administer deadly medicine. This vow can not be applied to patients being treated for cancer, because chemotherapy is poisonous to the body. Throughout the chemo therapy the individual experiences very unpleasant side effects. Therefore, this type of treatment can be classified as a “deadly medicine” because of the side effects caused by it. This inconsistency is why the Hippocratic Oath cannot be used to deny the choice of assisted suicide. Still people argue that terminally ill patients can be given palliative care to make their life more comfortable. However, with the inevitability of a terminal illness there is only one outcome, and to put a person on life support and to administer numerous drugs with not expectancy of a return of life would be bad medical practice.
Trevathan 4The right to choose assisted suicide or euthanasia must be freely bestowed to people that are terminally ill. With this empowerment, patients would be able to the leave this earth with dignity, to choose what form of treatment they want, and to exit a life that they no longer want to live. To give terminally-ill adult patients this right would be to give them the ability to end their story the best way they can.
Alters, Sandra M. ‘Suicide, Euthanasia, and Physician-Assisted Suicide.’ Death and Dying: End-of-Life Controversies, 2012 ed., Gale, 2013. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://ezp.gvltec.edu:2860/apps/doc/EJ2056300106/GPS?u=gvltec_main&sid=GPS&xid=6a3a0d44.
Accessed 17 Feb. Barnard, Christaan.GoodLife/GoodDeath. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1980.
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