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Human Euthanasia The Right to Die
Human euthanasia, and the right to die
The practice of Human euthanasia is very common in our society, we use it on animals as well as people (as I will explain later in this text) on a daily basis. There are many heated arguments for and against this practice, I will only be discussing euthanasia as it pertains to human beings. The common understanding of the act of euthanasia is the act of ending a person’s life( with no other intent), usually this is done by administering high doses of medication in order to slow breath and heart rate to the point of death. Opponents of this practice focus on the sole purpose of the means more than to the end, as I have observed. Supporters of euthanasia contend that it is an act of compassion and that a human should be given a choice as to how much suffering they should have to endure and that the quality of life for them should be taken into account, if their suffering is the only thing left for them to endure than they should be released from the ‘duty’ to live. After some research I support euthanasia for terminally ill human beings.
The law allows for Benemortasia, another word for good death, and is an accepted practice in society. Benemortasia is the practice of allowing a patient to continue to live without life sustaining treatment, allowing the death to progress on it’s own with no medical intervention. This can mean weeks, months or even years of suffering and pain for a person. But we must also consider the quality of the person’s life, can they speak, are they suffering, is their dignity intact? A person who it has been determined that their quality of life can only decline into more suffering and loss of comprehension at some point prior to death has only suffering and no quality. This is to no benefit to any person involved, the subject, the family or witnesses to the event.
Planned euthanasia can be a relief for all involved. The family has a timeline of the event, giving them time to adjust to the circumstance of the death of their loved one. They can say their goodbyes, make amends, listen to last wishes and be relieved of the torture of waiting for the moment of death to arrive. Gone will be the last memories of your loved ones reduced to a tortured shell laying in an unfamiliar bed(in many cases).
Many times when a loved one passes from a terminal illness the death can be considered a relief to them, to watch a family member or friend slowly and miserably die is without a doubt more painful than a planned event before the suffering is so great that you are praying or wishing death to come as much as for relief for yourself as for your loved one at times. In either case death is eminent, with euthanasia the suffering can be shortened, ridding all involved of the pain and suffering experienced. This is an act of compassion for the individual who is suffering.
Human euthanasia occurs in hospitals on a regular basis but under another name , so to speak. High doses of pain killing medication are administered to patients who are in unbearably suffering from their disease. The doctors who order these high doses of medication and the nurses that administer them, know the exact outcome of the dosage. The families are informed that the pain medication will slow heart rate and breathing causing death. This is looked upon differently than direct euthanasia because the intent is to relieve the patient of the pain. The fact that it results in death (predictably so) is treated as though it is a secondary result. They concentrate on the means rather than the end. But this is not any different from the standard idea of euthanasia because truly the result is the same. The doctor knows the effect of the medication but administers it in the name of pain relief. So a person truly is euthanized in the end. Pain treatments that lead to death are euthanization. A person should not be forced to live the last days of their life in pain, suffering, and delusions from being heavily medicated only to be given such high doses of medication their heart and breathing stops. This does not in any way preserve what opponents of euthanasia could fairly consider ‘life’.
The freedom to choose the extent of suffering one may endure at the end of a terminal illness should be left up to the individual first and foremost, then to the families that will endure their own type of torture. Decisions made to this end should be preplanned with doctors when the patient is still able to make sound decisions on matters as important as this. Doctors should be allowed to perform such acts as a service to their patient, looking after the well being of the physical and the mental state of their patient. Although they may not agree as in many practices the doctor doesn’t have to agree with the patient in order to perform some procedures, in example gastric bypass surgery, the personal opinion of the doctor may be that the patient use diet and exercise for weight loss, but it is the wish of his client to have the surgery instead. The doctor will perform the surgery at the request and satisfaction of the patient.
Euthanasia should be allowed when it is chosen by an individual capable of making sound decisions. It ends suffering, gives time for the patient and families to get their affairs in order, and allows the patient to decided how much suffering he or she will endure. The freedom of choice is the individuals when the individual has no hope for a cure and the only result is death. These individuals are the ones suffering the pain of their terminal illness and they should not be forced to experience undo pain and suffering with nothing but death eminent.
As a last note, in no way do I support suicide, whether it results from an escape from a painful death from disease or some sort of mental illness. Human euthanasia can only be acceptable if there is a specially trained and licensed doctor involved and a coherent patient. I believe in the duty to live as long as one has the capability to due so without debilitating physical pain and suffering. Mentally ill patients looking for a way to end their own lives are not capable to make such decisions, and therefore do not qualify to make such choices.