Death with dignity is to die with grace, in the knowledge that you are loved. (Mother Teresa) Dying with dignity has many interpretations. Some people think that dying with dignity is preventing one s self from becoming a human vegetable. Others, like Mother Teresa, believe that it is having the satisfaction of life to its fullest extent and leaving this world with the love of family and friends. However, Euthanasia is a controversial issue and in today s society, has no absolute answer.
The word Euthanasia is derived from the Greek language: eu means good and thantos means death . The meaning of this word is that the intentional terminations of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies . Machiavelli s The Prince stated, The end justifies the means . In the case of euthanasia, does the end, the death of one person, justify the means suicide? I believe that the end does not justify the means. Death through Euthanasia is an immoral way to leave this world.
People who believe in euthanasia believe it to be a solution to end suffering. Terminally ill people are faced with the decision of euthanasia. Some of these patients are in intractable pain and/or experience an intolerable poor quality of life. They would prefer to end their life rather than continue until their body gives up. If a terminally ill person asks to die it is called Active Euthanasia or PAS (Physician Assisted Suicide). Active euthanasia is when another person or physician injects or causes death to the requester.
PAS is when a physician only provides the means for a person to take their own life. People who accept these actions believe that those who will die will die with dignity. They will die with the power to control their course of life and that, they believe, is dignity. A survey verifies that the public does not want to see its terminally ill citizens to die in pain. They want people to die in peace and not watch them suffer for no reason. These surveys were mailed to 3750 people aged 21 or older. It shows that 79 percent of people agree with PAS; 12 percent oppose, and the other 9 percent were undecided. Those who sided with voluntary euthanasia believe that people have free will and the right to choose the way they live or die. They believe that one should put aside all their religious and moral beliefs and place themselves in the position of a terminally ill person. It s about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and if taking your won life to ease you pain makes you happy, then so be it. Everybody has the right to choose the way they live or die!
Does euthanasia really mean good death ? Euthanasia becomes a greater social issue especially now as it is being reviewed and legalized in some states and countries. Those opposed to euthanasia believe that the right to die will backfire and turn into a duty to die . Terminally ill people may feel worthless thinking that they will die eventually and therefore choose to receive euthanasia to get it out of the way . Those who don t support euthanasia also believe that religion does not support it as well. Today most branches of Christianity, Judaism and Islam condemn active euthanasia, although some permit restricted forms of passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is the stopping of medical treatment and letting nature take its course. They believe that euthanasia became morally and ethically abhorrent and is viewed as a violation of God s gift of life. Sovereignty denotes that lives and bodies of persons ultimately belong to God and the decision of life and death is God s and God s alone. Dying with dignity on the opposing side means that one leaves this world in peace and therefore relieves some of the pain on the family as they learn to let go of their loved one. Those who disagree with euthanasia also believe that it is unethical. The main argument for this point is that it breaks the ethical code of physicians the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath states that That you will exercise your art solely for the cure of your patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation, for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it And now, if you will be true to this, your oath, may prosperity and good repute be ever yours; the opposite, if you shall prove yourselves forsworn. People believe that active euthanasia violates this code of law and therefore the physicians who perform this act are at fault. Permitting physicians to engage in active euthanasia creates intolerable risks of abuse and misuse of the power over life and death. People struggle only to live. Even after giving the lethal injection, the body does what? It struggles to survive. I have learned that in many cases our own body knows better than our minds. Our minds are often (especially when in great pain or when under the influence of any medicine) unreliable.”
In my view euthanasia is unscrupulous and depraved way to end one s life. I believe humans need to re-evaluate our own humanity as a society. Is it fair to cause our own death and the death of others? If euthanasia seems to be the merciful response to end life, maybe we should accept the hastening of death to be more merciful. Autonomy, or self-law, is being used as an appeal to society in order to promote the right to control ones body and life. The freedom to exercise this right brings about another issue, the right to die. From this, we are entitled to the right to choose. This allows humans to die with dignity. Humans can proclaim, it is my body, it is my freedom, it is my life, and I have control. It is possible with this self-centered mindset, if one becomes institutionalized; euthanasia is a choice available when the feeling of control has been lost. I believe that we are stewards of the world and to those around us. If I were to become ill, I would be content in knowing those around me were doing everything possible to comfort me. God gave us this gift of life. We do have a right and free will to sustain this life and grow as humans during this life. Even in pain and suffering, we can grow and look for God s love and provide the growth of this love to touch those around us.
If we allow euthanasia to be a quick fix in our lives, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to grow, pray, and hope to feel God s love and presence in this life. Therefore I believe that the end does not justify the means according to this issue. Euthanasia, the means, is not the apposite method of departing from this world