Euthanasia: A Delicate Way to End Suffering and Pain - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1951 Words
Date:  2022-12-27


Imagine being given a death sentence, by your family, doctor, or state laws. Imagine having to live your life in pain, agonizing daily about some uncertain day. Euthanasia or better known as Physician- Assisted Suicide is a delicate way of ending one's life. Typically those who utilize this are patients of terminal illness or debilitating conditions in which they will never recover; reduced qualities of life. These patients are often victims of circumstance can get no relief and must live to lean and depending on others, often feeling like a burden. We have the legal right to smoke and consume alcohol (which a legal death sentence) but ending one's own life in a non-violent manner is illegal? There are numerous facets (Patient Suffering at the end of life, Palliative Care, medical expenses and even need to die prematurely) which affect one decision to end their life in such a manner but there are pros and cons to legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide. I understand the benefits and the mercy behind it, but the cons are just too strong, and the quantity of them is too high in number. Who is there to justify the murder or "assisted suicide" of another living being? Who wants to be the person to decide if someone's life can come to an end (because they are suffering)? This controversial topic should be addressed from the moral and legal angle by pointing facts that can help one make the desired choice regarding the same. Accordingly, I believe that Physician-Assisted Suicide is one of the government condoned killing that has crossed the morality of humanity within contemporary societies (Bachman et al. 278). The government has imposed laws legalizing this practice, and to some extent, this has been disputed and criticized by various religious institutions. For instance, Muslims and Christians have argued that Physician-Assisted Suicide or euthanasia is contrary to the teaching of their doctrine. They argue that life is God's given and only God can take it away. Indeed, Euthanasia or better known as Physician- Assisted Suicide should not be legalized in any country including China.

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Research background: There is need to analyze the background of this research in the following manner. Euthanasia is one of the most evident emerging issues in contemporary societies. Euthanasia is the practice of letting family members, doctors, and lawyers determine the death of someone. It entails ending someone's life especially those suffering from serious illness at an older age. Some critiques have argued that legalization of suicide assisted death or euthanasia is unethical and hence a lousy option within the society. This follows the fact that some countries have extended the practice of euthanasia to even the younger ones in the society. Initially, assisted suicide was only limited to be the last resort that can be taken to enhance the death of someone (Materstvedt et al. 97-100). However, today it has become a common practice among nations especial in China which have been at the forefront of terminating the lives of ill people including children. The exercise has also been carried on people with dementia as well as the newborns. It is in this aspect that one tends to argue that legalization of assisted suicide renders many individuals vulnerable to preliminary death. As such the practice impacts adversely the morals of the society and do not safeguard the lives of individuals (Cohen et al. 89-94).

Research Questions

  • Is it ethical to legalize euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide?
  • Under what conditions should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legalized or be allowed in society?
  • Do patients have the freedom and right to cut their lives short?
  • Is it morally acceptable to conduct euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide on ill patients?
  • Under what age is the euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide allowed to be conducted on patients or ill people?
  • Who should conduct euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide on ill people?

Research Problems: According to demographic reports, there has been a high rise in the number of individuals who practice assisted suicide contrary to the will of their family members and the rules of the state. According to various precepts of the nation especially America, it is unethical to carry out euthanasia on ill people with complicated diseases or incurable diseases. This fact is coupled up with the religious doctrines that have taken center stage in this debate. The complaints by the family members, religious institutions as well as the law firms in the United States concerning this issue have sparked intense debate regarding the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide. It is in this aspect that debate concerning the legalization of euthanasia has attracted a lot of attention (Cohen et al. 89-94). This problem or issue cannot be underrated in our contemporary societies; hence there is a need to elaborate its parameters whether it should be legalized or not.

Literature Review Chapter: Many scholars have gained a lot of interest in as far as legalization of assisted suicide should be accepted or not. Numerous books and articles have been published to refute or to accept this practice. However, this depends on an individual nation as per their constitution and the will of people that reside in it. The United States of America has been at the forefront of promoting this menace to the extent that it has become a global issue of concern. Below are some of the facts that dispute the legalization of euthanasia or those that support it. Below are some of the reasons as to why Euthanasia or better known as Physician- Assisted Suicide should not be legalized in any country.

This topic can be addressed from my personal encounter and the real-life situation regarding its legalization. "It's my right to die" my grandmother retorted to my mother. Diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer that had spread to her bones, spine, and brain, she was fed up with chemo, over the pills and had recently gone into acute Reno- failure. She was tired. My mother and her sisters were desperate to save her, asking about clinical trials and thing of that nature. Grandma was only 71; she still had a life ahead of her. My grandmother had protested life support, refused a life-changing heart procedure leaving her heart only operating at twenty-six percent, she refused the diabetes medication and refused the mastectomy. Her living will, her living right stated she wanted to let go if a situation had ever arisen. She looked a physician right in his eye and said "give me something; don't just let me sit here in pain. I AM TIRED." My mother had tears in the corners of her eyes; as a registered nurse she didn't believe in euthanasia. At that moment it was realized that people have the right to not want to be in pain; they have the right to make decisions about their lives. If the government can regulate the poisons, we ingest daily why shouldn't a patient be allowed to end their suffering?

It is your Human Right to decide on rather or not one wants to suffer. While the opposing party would like to argue that the "Laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others (Wilson, 196). They are not and have never been, intended to make anyone suffer." While the U.S. government opposes; The European Declaration of Human Rights declares people have the right to not suffer; therefore they have been practicing Euthanasia for years.

After weeks of hospitalization, referring to the medical facility as a hotel she has checked into, (perhaps a coping mechanism), my grandmother was ready to come home. After several treatments of emergency dialysis, her kidney refused to function. Swelling from fluid retention, her skin burned and ached, her chemo site located under her belly begin to become infected from the massive tension. Her beautiful brown skin had a shiny tint to it; it was incredibly smooth from being stretched beyond belief. The stretch marks she once bore from birthing her daughters were no longer visible; her body looked as if it would burst. Her delicate state required Hospice Care to be released from the hospital. A nurse who would come in daily and turn her, make her comfortable, watch her in pain for days or weeks, maybe even months. Slowly drifting away, painfully drifting away, a hired individual comes in to watch her die an undignified death where she loses all of her bodily function. First Kidneys, then sight, mobility, bowel and bladder incontinence and the painful task of watching her struggle to breathe every day an extended courtesy perhaps. The opposition will state that palliative care is virtually unheard of in countries where euthanasia is practiced. It's almost as if the US Government wants to be commended for having a system of organized suffering; after all, it is a way to bring in funds (Emanuel 27).

The cost to die in a medically induced fashion is between $3500 and $ 4500. There are individuals who have argued that physician-assisted suicide reduces the cost of medication in the healthcare system. This is according to the records from the healthcare finance departments of various states who are interested in imposing laws geared towards legalization of this practice. Indeed, it is true to posit that ill people diagnosed with incurable diseases require intensive and close medication process (Emanuel 629). This will need additional finance to carter for their needs. It is in this light that health practitioners have argued that to cut the cost of healthcare services there is a a need to induce and carry out euthanasia on such patients. In as much as the above fact can be true, there is need to consider the moral aspect of inducing premature death on individuals. It is contrary to our moral within the society that someone's life should be ended prematurely given the fact that there exist state laws that support such practices. The government should put aside an adequate budget to cutter for the seriously ill people until they meet their death naturally. Indeed, the financial strain cannot be compared to an individual life (Materstvedt et al. 97).

While only three countries have legalized Euthanasia, only four states in the US has passed an act supporting the cause. Oregon in 2002 passed the "The Death with Dignity Act" which allows the doctor to prescribe lethal doses of medication to patients under the pretenses they administer it to themselves. In this case, Physician-Assisted Suicide is not Euthanasia since it covers dying under the assumption you only wish to die but not due to terminal illness or a particular condition. Notably, I will admit, it was hard for me to see it from the opposing parties point of view, but I will admit there were valid points that allowed me to see things differently. Placing laws against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted suicide to protect patients from unethical medical practitioners is understandable (Keown, 67). Not every doctor has your best interest at heart, and it is impossible to determine who does and does not. Rejecting the law is a form of a blanketing covering everyone and protecting everyone (Pereira 38).

Another point they made is trying to determine the cost on a case by case base. It could fill the void from cutbacks for treatment and care with the 'treatment' of death.", thus fore lessoning clinical researches for actual cures.

The research findings: It is believed that Euthanasia or better known as Physician- Assisted Suicide reduces the pain of suffering among the ill people. However, this practice does not honor the dignity of humans and hence is only focused on the premature ending of people's lives. It should be understood that it is not the mandate of doctors or family members and state to decid...

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