W. Nick LawlorLawlor 1
Comp and Logic
April 4, 2001
Euthanasia: Premature Death
The famous Dr. Kevorkian, assisted suicide, and mercy killing are terms one may be familiar with, but what is the truth behind euthanasia? Euthanasia is putting someone to death who has an incurable disease and not letting them die naturally. Euthanasia can no longer be thought of as a solution. With advancements in pain medication, there is no need for mercy killing. In the light of euthanasia, doctors hold too much power because of the influence of their position. Euthanasia must be repudiated as a solution to any kind of illness because premature death never solves anything, and doctors must not hold the final decision.
Euthanasia must not be considered a viable treatment for the terminally ill. What does terminally ill mean, and who decides whether an ill patient is terminal or not? Doctors diagnose a patient to be terminally ill when the disease will ultimately kill them. Doctors are incapable of predicting the future, therefore, they can be unaware of a treatment that will soon be available. “But medicine has changed since the 1960’s, and many of the old definitions must be discarded. Sophisticated equipment and new techniques now permit HCP’s to resuscitate and save the lives of patients who would have no chance of survival only a few years ago” (Weiss 79). Doctors who advise euthanasia as a solution may be acting prematurely. A patient may be assisted in his suicide and the next day a cure may be found for his disease. Some may say this is hardly possible, but the possibility is still there. Dr. Weiss suggests this,
At any time, a new discovery could save the life of hundreds of the terminally ill. “Cures can come down the pipeline at any day” Dr. Marshal L. Bruner of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “How would family members feel if they had okayed a mercy killing just days before a new drug became available?” (Weiss 87).
Euthanasia may be a premature act by the doctors whom the patients admire.
With this admiration, the ill turn to doctors for the best possible way out of their
ailment. This desperation gives doctors who could recommend euthanasia to all terminally ill patients, too much power. To patients, their situation is hopeless because of the pain they are going through, they may decide to take their physicians advice. “If a doctor confidently suggests a certain course of action, it can be very difficult for a patient to resist” (Christian). The patients are confused and yearn for relief from their suffering. In this way a voluntary decision becomes involuntary because of the doctor’s advice and the patient’s hopelessness.
“History has shown that once voluntary euthanasia is legal, involuntary euthanasia inevitably follows” (Christian). This alone shows how doctors have the upper hand.
Pain is controlled through medication now more than ever. Everyone has the right to die but not the right to be killed. Pain and the right to die are no grounds for seeking euthanasia. Terminally ill patients can find relief from their suffering in prescription pain medication such as Tylenol-3 or morphine. Supporters of euthanasia state that everyone has the right to die. If one ultimately chooses euthanasia over life, they are not dying naturally; they are being killed before their time. Many people seeking death as a solution are in a dramatic mental state. People seeking euthanasia typically are depressed. “In one study, of the 24% of terminally ill patients who desired death, all had clinical depression” (Euthanasia). With modern technology, pain can be reduced remarkable, and this depression can be treated profoundly.
Euthanasia, a killing, is not a solution; it is a pressured way out used by the terminally ill who are not always thinking clearly. One must not let doctors make the final decision, and one must have faith in technology and medicine to realize there may be a cure. Nature should be allowed to take its course; not allowing this is murder.
Christian Medical Fellowship. http:www.cmf.org.uk/. copyright 1997. registered charity # 1039823. 3-28-01
Euthanasia.com. http://www.euthanasia.com/. 4-1-01
Weiss,Dr.Brian L. Many Lives, Many Masters