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Euthanasia: Murder or Mercy Killing?

Updated on June 1, 2012

At some sad moment in time, there comes the end chapter. It is the end chapter of a loved one. Everyone knows it is coming, the question is only "when"? You might be a teen or in your prime, you might be middle age when the issue might cross your mind about a loved one that is ending, forever.

Euthanasia is also called mercy killing, murder or assisted suicide. Death is the final frontier, where no man has gone and come back with proof what else happens, if anything. When someone has been given a death sentence, medically speaking, hospice usually kicks in. The person is moved out of the care unit and into another building with only minimal care at the last wishes of the person. There is nothing more to do. This time might be days or months.

What if your loved one pull you close to them, and in a weak whisper said, "Please kill me, I want to go". Your immediate reaction would be pull back. You would be against such a thing. Why? Because it is your loved one? Because you would consider it murder? What if your loved one was in such condition that there was no real quality of life by any meager standard? What if they are just wasting away in some expensive $5000 a month care home that you dread going to even once a month? At what point would you think. I can no longer afford this, it is breaking me financially and if they continue living I will go broke? What then? Yes, they are loved ones and the dilemma of what to do is every persons potential nightmare, if they are not healthy. It can happen anytime, out of the blue. We never think of it because we do not want to think of it.

Mercy Killing is not murder, neither is euthanasia, if the person is requesting it. Doctors actually do it in other ways, all the time. Say, a person, 85 yrs. has a major heart issue. The doctor presents the options and costs and outcomes. Doing a major operation on this age is not really a benefit and chances are greater that it might get worse. So, a decision is made to do nothing and let the person live out his life. A month later they die. If the person was only 55, a doctor would almost insist on doing the operation. It s just a longer length of time. In the 85 yr. old. example, what if they wanted to die? They would be ignored, why? It is their life, their decision.

Mercy killings also happen under the disguise of DNR codes in hospitals. DNR is do not resuscitate. The person would wants will have a clause in their Will or trust. The clause usually is written stating that if their life had no quality to it and they are in a coma, or, vegetative state, and they stop breathing, DNR. Do not attempt to save them, let them die.

How is this any different than a loved one whispering while in pain and with no hope of recovery asking for death? Yes, there is the act of ending their life, but the intent is mercy and goodwill, it is with love not malice.

I think it should be allowed and not a crime. Sometimes, letting go is the best for those slowly dying and for those trying to move on.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      I agree, a real dilemma for loved ones.

    • profile image

      Kellmi 5 years ago

      What a terrible burden you impose on someone when you ask them to kill you. If they do as you ask, they live with the guilt of it for the rest of their lives. If they can't bring themselves to do it, they feel as if they have failed you. If you feel as if you can't go on, do it yourself

    • Floris Wood profile image

      Floris Wood 5 years ago from Toledo, Ohio

      It would be naive to think that doctors do not practice a for of euthanasia already, where it is not even legal. It simply means that when a person who has a sever disability (like my wife, who has cerebral palsy) and they are either non-communicative or are difficult to understand (like my wife), has an accident, doctors do not treat them as aggressively as they do, let's say, a young high school football player whose accident put them in the same condition as the disabled person. They pity the disabled person and are prone to give palliative care instead of curative care. My wife is 53 and has seen it time and time again that disabled people, once in a hospital, tend to be neglected. Many of her friends have died, unnecessarily, in hospitals. It is a great fear of my wife's that we will get into an accident, I will get killed or will be injured enough that I cannot speak for her, and they will simple draw the curtains around her bed in the emergency room and not come back.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Thanks, you are so right but how can it go bad if the person needing it voluntarily requests it? It is their last wish. Their last decision in life.

    • Floris Wood profile image

      Floris Wood 5 years ago from Toledo, Ohio

      The danger is this. In a society where euthanasia is commonly practiced doctors see a standard wherein people they judge to have a low quality of life, become candidates for hospice. That judgement is sometimes wrong. I would encourage you to read the article below to get some idea where euthanasia can go wrong. Pay special attention to the study done in California. I am not against euthanasia, but safeguards need to be in place to avoid what might be termed as false positives, i.e. making seemingly acceptable assumptions about a persons "quality of life".