Morality And Practicality Of Euthanasia

.. period of suffering can be extended beyond the limit of human endurance. What’s the point of allowing someone a few more months or days or hours of so-called life when death is inevitable? There’s no point. In fact, it’s downright inhumane. When someone under such conditions asks to be allowed to die, it’s far more humane to honor that request than to deny it.

(Lodle) There is no way we are going to come to grips with this problem until we also look at some of these areas that aren’t going to go away . One of the toughest of these is what Victor Fuchs called flat-of-the-curve medicine- those medical procedures which are the highest in cost but achieve little or no improvement in health status. He says that they must be reduced or eliminated. We must demand that professional societies and licensing authorities establish some norms and standards for diagnostic and therapeutic practice that encompass both costs and medicine. We’re going to have to come up with some sort of concept of cost-effective medicine. (Docker) People who oppose euthanasia have argued constantly doctors have often been known to miscalculate or to make mistakes. Death is final and irreversible; in some cases doctors have wrongly made diagnostic errors during a check-up.

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Patients being told they have cancer or AIDS, by their doctors’ mistake, have killed themselves to avoid the pain. Those opposing euthanasia have also argued that practicing euthanasia prevents the development of new cures and rules out unpracticed methods in saving a life. Also, there is always the possibility that an experimental procedure or a hitherto untried technique will pull us through. We should at least keep this option open, but euthanasia closes it off. They might decide that the patient would simply be ‘better off dead’ and take the steps necessary to make that come about. This attitude would then carry over to their dealings with patients less seriously ill. The result would be an overall decline in quality of medical care.

(EUTHANASIA) If euthanasia had been legal 40 years ago, it is quite possible that there would be no hospice movement today. The improvement in terminal care is a direct result of attempts made to minimize suffering. If that suffering had been extinguished by extinguishing the patients who bore it, then we may never have known the advances in the control of pain, nausea, breathlessness, and other terminal symptoms that the last twenty years have seen. Some diseases that were terminal a few decades ago are now routinely cured by newly developed treatments. Earlier acceptance of euthanasia might well have undercut the urgency of the research efforts which led to the discovery of those treatments. If we accept euthanasia now, we may well delay by decades the discovery of effective treatments for those diseases that are now terminal.

(Burnell ) Once any group of human beings is considered unworthy of living, what is to stop our society from extending this cruelty to other groups? If the mongoloid is to be deprived of his right to life, what of the blind and deaf? and What about of the cripple, the retarded, and the senile? How long after acceptance of voluntary euthanasia will we hear the calls for non-voluntary euthanasia? There are thousands of comatose or demented patients sustained by little more than good nursing care. They are an enormous financial and social burden. How long will the advocates of euthanasia be arguing that we should assist them in dying. Perhaps the most disturbing risk of all is posed by the growing concern over medical costs. Euthanasia is, after all, a very cheap service.

The cost of a dose of barbiturates and curare and the few hours in a hospital bed that it takes them to act is minute compared to the massive bills incurred by many patients in the last weeks and months of their lives. Already in Britain, There is a serious under- provision of expensive therapies like renal dialysis and intensive care, with the result that many otherwise preventable deaths occur. Legalizing euthanasia would save substantial financial resources which could be diverted to more useful treatments. These economic concerns already exert pressure to accept euthanasia, and, if accepted, they will inevitability tend to enlarge the category of patients for whom euthanasia is permitted.. (EUTHANASIA) It must never be forgotten that doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators have personal lives, homes and families, or that they are something more than just doctors, nurses, or hospital administrators. They are citizens and a significant part of the society around them.

We should be very worried about what the institutionalization of euthanasia will do to society, in general , how will we regard murderers? (IAETF) Another side effect might be a an increasing fear of hospitals. Despite all the efforts of health education, it seems there will always be a transference of the patient’s fear of illness from the illness to the doctors and hospitals who treat it. This fear is still very real and leads to large numbers of late presentations of illnesses that might have been cured if only the patients had sought help earlier. To institutionalize euthanasia, however carefully, would undoubtedly magnify all the latent fear of doctors and hospitals harbored by the public. The inevitable result would be a rise in late presentations and, therefore, preventable deaths. As with any other system, certain people may try to use euthanasia for the wrong reasons. Both the Dutch and the California proposals list sets of precautions designed to prevent abuses. They acknowledge that such are a possibility.

The history of legal loopholes is not a cheering one. Abuses might arise when the patient is wealthy and an inheritance is at stake, when the doctor has made mistakes in diagnosis and treatment and hopes to avoid detection, when insurance coverage for treatment costs is about to expire, and in a host of other circumstances.(EUTHANASIA) Both sets of proposals seek to limit the influence of the patient’s family on the decision, again acknowledging the risks posed by such influences. Families have all kinds of subtle ways, conscious and unconscious, of putting pressure on a patient to request euthanasia and relive them of the financial and social burden of care. Many patients already feel guilty for imposing burdens on those on those who care for them, even when the families are happy to bear the burden. To provide an avenue for the discharge of that guilt in a request for euthanasia is to risk putting to death a great many patients who do not wish to die. (IAETF) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is one of the oldest and most common moral proverbs, which applies to everyone alike. When people try to decide whether certain actions are morally correct, they must ask whether they would be willing for everyone to follow that rule, in similar circumstances.

I have tried to take a objective look at both sides, but have found this to be a very complex issue. Not having face such problem I am siding with not supporting euthanasia, may we forever go on. All of life is a struggle and a gamble. At the gaming table of life, nobody ever knows what the outcome will be. Indeed, humans are noblest when they persist in the face of the inevitable. Kevorkian’s current mailing address in prison, if you should never need it.

Dr.Jack Kevorkian Prisoner number 284797 Oaks Correctional Facility EASTLAKE MI 49626 U S A (DeathNet) Bibliography MFLA Medicine Essays.


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