EUTHANASIA: case study
Here in this assignment I would like to deal with a case on euthanasia. This is a case which I got from the internet which was mentioned by an Indian-Doctor who was working in England.
“While I was working in England, I was resuscitating an elderly lady who was admitted in the hospital emergency ward with severe demonstrable cerebral damage. My chief of surgery, an Englishman and devout Christian, told me gently, I don’t want to interfere with your procedures but if she were my mother I wouldn’t do all that you are doing and would allow her to die peacefully.”Introduction
The word Euthanasia which means a good or happy death was derived from the Greek words ‘eu’ and ‘thantos’. It is a practice of ending of life because they are perceived as living an intolerable life.
Euthanasia is deliberately bringing about a gentle and easy death making the last days of the patient as comfortable as possible. This is to ensure a calm and peaceful death, within the context of relieving incurable suffering in terminal illness or disability. Euthanasia is voluntary, when requested by the sufferer, involuntary or compulsory if it is against the will of the patient, passive when death is hastened by deliberate withdrawal of effective therapy or nourishment.Definitions
Euthanasia is an intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. Today it is also considered as a suicide or murder. Suicide for it is the self-inflicted death. Mostly it is ones own decision and ones own action. It is murder for it is carried out by the help of other person, for it is taking of others’ life.Kinds of Euthanasia
Voluntary Euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.
Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. Involuntary Euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary.
Active and passive: Active euthanasia is the intentional killing of a person by medical personnel either by a lethal injection or by denying ordinary means of survival. The act of euthanasia called passive euthanasia is committed by denying or withholding ordinary medical care to a patient.
Euthanasia by action and omission: Intentionally causing a person's death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection. Euthanasia by omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food, water and medicine.Evaluation of the Case
Here the case which I deal with reveals us different kinds of the mind-set of the people; especially that of a doctor. So indeed this case is more concerned with the medical ethics.
Medical profession and doctors are to support the ailing person to suffer and to give new hope. Here in this case the chief of surgery itself in discouraging his junior and provoking him to opt better one. So in this point of view I find this case as an unethical one.
Englishman and devout Christian is the chief of surgery here I was surprised to see how a devout Christian can support and opt euthanasia as a better option. For Christian Death is part of life. As Ecclesiastes 3:2 tells us, there is a time to be born and a time to die. God's dominion includes all of life, which means that suffering is a part of God's providence. Therefore, suffering that cannot be relieved by modern medical means is to be accepted as from the hand of a loving God who knows what He is doing, even when we do not understand. Therefore, in looking at suffering and impending death, the Christian should see God's sovereign hand and purpose, as well as the opportunity for ministering to the weak and vulnerable, with whom Christ Himself is identified.Medical supports
We are in a world where our medical world grows day by day it is being an instrumental in contributing to the overall development of the human species by way of curing the ailments and caring for the sick. We should not opt an immediate and easy way of giving up life. “Medicine has a number of ends like restoring health and overcoming, wherever possible, conditions which threaten life, and to alleviate suffering and disability.”
So with the help of the available medicine allow the ailing person to life with dignity.Divine Providence
We have to hope in the divine providence and help of God. It is He who has given the life. He has the special aim and purpose with our life. We are only the care-takers of it. So we have to look for His wishes and likes.
There could be also a chance for miracle at anytime in ones’ life. It would be of the person who is suffering before you. So better do not take an immediate step which will put you in guilty. Allow God to work and make wonders in our life. Give new hope
“Sixty-one percent of Arizona physicians treating terminally ill patients believe they should have the option of helping their patients hasten their deaths if that is what their patients want, a just released survey shows”
Many of the people opt for the euthanasia due to depression and external forces such as thinking of the financial problem of the family and thinking that it is an incurable disease and so on. We have to give a new hope in the suffering brethrens. We have to support the aliening person till their last hour.Against the euthanasia
The people that go against euthanasia feel that if this is legalized and not looked upon as murder it will lead to people in hospitals and nursing homes not receiving the treatment that may be necessary for them to sustain life. If today we accept the intentional killing of a patient as a solution for one problem, then tomorrow we will find a hundred problems for which killing must be accepted as a solution. During World War II, euthanasia was considered to be a solution for over 100,000 German patients who were killed as unwanted by doctors under Nazi Germany.
Life is taken for granted all too often; people always look for the shortcuts, the easy way out. Death should never be a person’s last resort; there will always be an alternative. Humans cannot be compared to animals either. We can’t be taken to a veterinarian to be put to sleep. It is immoral and dehumanizing.
If he destroys himself in order to escape from painful circumstances, he uses a person merely as a mean to maintain a tolerable condition up to the end of life. But a man is not a thing, that is to say, something which can be used merely as means, but must in all his actions be always considered as an end in himself.
People rarely take into consideration how precious life is. Feelings of depression and guilt often overwhelm the sick. They only think of one way out. If euthanasia were to be legalized, the already declining morals and ethics of this country would be further compromised. Making it legal to kill is immoral, and goes against our duties in society.Why not Euthanasia Possible
Only in cases of unbearable and uncontrollable suffering near the end of life, can euthanasia at the patient's request exempt a doctor from prosecution. Today, the handicapped, new born, comatose patients, and even completely healthy but depressed people have been euthanized without punishment by the courts. This is indeed an un ethical act.
We must conclude that legalizing euthanasia threatens the life of every terminal patient. Even if this situation would never occur in practice (and it does indeed occur), the new law opens the possibility that the doctor applies unrequested euthanasia with impunity. In fact the doctor is given the freedom to decide on life or deathConclusion
We can not consider that medical profession is the end in it self or the omnipotent to cure all ailments.
Being realistic about the healthcare situation assures us that even when an approximation to health cannot be achieved, we must aim to secure as tolerable a state as possible. Thus, palliative medicine calls for deploying techniques of pain control, so that the patient may be able to have a conscious living with family and friends, thus maintaining an aptitude for sharing in the human goods as much as possible.
The right to decline medical treatment is a basic right of the patient Physician-assisted euthanasia is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. When the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically.