In the recent year physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has been the interest of many scholars in sociology, ethical philosophy and criminology. In this regard, euthanasia from etymological meaning from Greek means “good death” However, Sutherland, (2005) refers to euthanasia as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. The mode of ending life can be classified as euthanasia by consent. In this form, the euthanasia can be conducted with the patient’s consent or voluntary, while it can also be involuntary where someone makes decision on behalf of the patient basing on circumstances.
Secondly, euthanasia by means can be through non-actively, passively and actively. However, the contentious issue remains to be whether doctor-assisted suicide should be legalized or not. To approach this debate well, there is need to examine both argument for and against legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the context of ethical dilemma for doctors today. Some of the fundamental questions that ought to be placed on the table as far as this debate is concerned are How far should a physician go to save a life?
When suffering is immeasurable and patient’s condition terminal, should physician be permitted to end a patient’s life? Should a physician take an active role in hastening patient’s death? On the ground that this is an ethical dilemma, it implies that there are many conflicting arguments both for and against legalization of doctor-assisted suicide. Therefore, the decision to whether it should be legalized or not shall base on the critical evaluation of these arguments. The arguments that agitate for legalizing doctor-assisted suicide can not be ignored nor can they be easily accepted.
First, the notion of the patient’s Right to self-determination in the sense that the patient empowerment gives him or her the power and control to choice of what he or she wants in relation to her life. For instance, the patient is aware of his or her life and what treatment to get, such questions as” It’s my life, my pain. Why can’t I get the treatment I want? ” render it difficulty to nullify the doctor-assisted suicide. Second, the Mercy Argument that stipulates that the indignity and immense pain resulting from prolonged suffering cannot be ignored.
Therefore, we shall prove to be inhumane to force people to continue suffering in this way. Third, pro doctor-assisted suicide can be supported by advances made by the Economics argument. The cost of keeping people alive is exceedingly high in terms of medical care bills. Many economists view that we shall be wasting precious resources when an already used up life is prolonged unnecessarily. Lastly, the reality argument proposes that the society should legalize doctor-assisted suicide since many people are already doing it.
Therefore, the society should face it. These arguments are persuasive and prompt us to include doctor-assisted suicide as one of the treatment option. However, on the other side of the coin the argument are considerably substantial to deter thought of legalizing doctor-assisted suicide. First, physicians are not trained psychiatrists. Therefore, the physicians who are given authority to grant euthanasia wish may not always recognize that the real problem is a treatable depression, rather than the need to fulfill a patient’s death wish.
Second, there is a concern about the mechanism to be used in regulating doctor-assisted suicide in order to ensure that the weak, the demented, the vulnerable, the stigmatized-those incapable of consent not to become the unwilling objects of this practice. Third, there are sometimes occasional miracles that patients do recover, and if their life is terminated hampers recovery by chance. Fourth, the slippery slope argument state that an acceptable action should not be taken because it will lead to a course of consequent actions that are not acceptable by society.
For instance, legalizing doctor-assisted suicide might lead to such events as terminating of disabled elderly due to attitude. Thus, validating this law may turn our right to die to become our duty to die. Lastly, there is fear of weakening doctor –patient trust as people who rely on their doctors for health guidance may become confused and alarmed. Therefore, this matter is complicated and requires proper consideration to decide whether or not to legalize euthanasia.
But on the sober side these debate should wait until the US government guarantees adequate access to health care to all of its citizens. Since without health insurance, terminally ill patients could still end up choosing or be pressured into choosing to prematurely end their lives for financial reasons. The nature of sociological theorizing Sociological theories of criminology explain crime causation in terms of the social environment that family, school, community, workplace, peer group, and society.
There are three major sociological theories of crime and delinquency which are strain, social learning, and control theories that offer explanation to crime activities and criminals from a sociological perspective. The nature of sociological theorizing tends to focus on the features of the social environment that causes crime and criminals. The assumptions that underlie sociological perspective on crime causation are varied in relation to giving insight of crime explanation from society’s view.
It is a point of worth to note that these assumptions on causative of crime are based on mechanistic conception of causation that is attuned to the nature of social phenomena. In other words, the sociological perspective on crime visualizes causal process as part of a social reality that is constructed by man. The sociological theories based on these assumptions about man and society: process, social action, power, and conflict. Sociological processes are dynamic aspect of social relations. These resultant relations in social phenomena fluctuate continually in a continuous series of actions, taking place in time.
This relations lead to a special kind of result that will have an impact on the individual social construction. Conflicts in society between persons, social units, or cultural elements are unavoidable due to competing interests. Thus, the consequences of social conflicts results to crime activities and criminology behavior formation. Power is the basic characteristic of social organization. Therefore, the conflict conception of society leads us to assume that coherence in society is assured by constraint and coercion.
In regard to social action, man’s actions are meaningful and purposive, that man engages in voluntary behaviors. Importance of crime typologies in understanding of violent crimes Crime typologies in criminology refers to the processes of sorting people into types according to distinguishing traits or forms of behavior that are presumed to characterize them is a common social process. For example, criminologists speak of hubcap thieves in reference to persons who steal packages from the car or inmates in prisons do single out their fellow inmates as right guys, or wolves, or outlaws.
These typologies help criminologists to simplify and make sense of people and events they encounter in everyday social interactions. Typologies are useful to understand the patterns in violent crime as part of the strategic assessment. Through application of typologies to violent crimes strategic assessment, the criminologists can map where there are crime concentrations or ‘hotspots’; When in the day violent incidents are likely to or usually occur; Clarify the profile of victims and perpetrators; and Examine why the patterns observed in the analysis occur.
For instance, in relation to murder and homicide which is unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought, the criminologists can better understand and map various categories of crime that fall under murder and homicide. For example, the case of deliberation it shall imply that the killing was planned, after careful thought, rather than carried out on impulse. While involuntary or negligent manslaughter implies that killing occurs when a person’s acts are negligent and without regard for the harm they may cause others.
And the incidence of typical armed robber is likely to be a professional who carefully studies targets while planning a crime. For example research by Lonnie, (1997), using typologies of crime found that Domestic Abuse showed high repeat victimization of about 50 percent with the vast majority of victim suffering assaults 85 percent and 13 percent harassment. To note is the findings were largely supported by improved targeting. Reference Lonnie, A. (1997), Violent Criminal Acts and Actors Revisited: Urbana, University of Illinois Press. Sutherland, E. H. (2005). Criminology: Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott.