Try to imagine yourself or someone you hold close to you being very sick, so sick that just being alive each day gives more pain and suffering than the previous day. Not one person should have to suffer from a disease that is incurable and leads inevitably to death. With an assisted suicide a person and his or her family can be relieved of the agony of the illness. Euthanasia is sometimes considered to be the best option for a loved one who is in intractable pain, and should be an option available to patients who meet qualifications and agree to the assistance in suicide.
There are two different forms of Euthanasia: Active and Passive. Active Euthanasia is the causing of a person’s death through a direct action in response to a request of that person. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is most well known for his acts of Active Euthanasia. Passive Euthanasia is, according to www.religioustolerance.org, hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. Examples of Passive Euthanasia include “pulling the plug” on a patient in a coma or turning off a respirator to aid in the breathing process. These two processes should, at times, be performed on some patients so that death will occur sooner and suffering will no longer happen.
Although some pains that are effects of terminal illnesses can be controlled to a level that can be endured, most people who are suffering from these illnesses do not have sufficient access to these forms of pain control. If a person wishes to die and is only suffering from treatable illnesses such as clinical depression the option should not be given to this able bodied individual. However, if a person is of sound mind and has been tested for clinical depression and only has the finality of death to look forward to because of pain, then that finality should be quickened to alleviate that person.
Not every patient should be given a form of Euthanasia just for asking for the act to be done to that person. Certain qualifications should be met to ensure that it is the best option in the patient’s mind and the doctor’s mind. The patient should never have been treated for depression. If this happens, Euthanasia then becomes a permanent fix to a temporary problem. The victim should be affected by an incurable, debilitating disease that makes the quality of life very poor. The patient should give his or her full consent to allow the process. Finally the patients’ doctors should agree that no other option is available to help treat the patient.
Suicide, itself, is not a punishable crime; however, if the suicide attempt is failed the person is criminalized and sent to a hospital be analyzed by mental physicians. Murder is defined as a crime of unlawfully killing a person; murder is taking of a life without that person wanting his or her life to be taken and is the most punishable crime that can be committed. A person who is suffering from agonizing pain cannot singly execute a successful suicide attempt. They will then be put under closer attention and made to live with the prolonged misery of the illness.
A doctor should be allowed to assist a person who repeatedly asks for help in suicide to end the already poor quality of life that they are living not only for the patients’ sake, but for the families who can’t stand to see a loved family member suffer. Euthanasia is an area that doctors don’t like to travel; however, they should be schooled on how, when certain criteria is met, to make a patient’s life end as quickly and painlessly as that patient dictates.
1.Doctor Assisted Suicide. “a guide to WEB Sites and the Literature”. 1998.
2.The Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization. 1997.
3.Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. 2000.