In the advent of technology and biomedical advancements in the twentieth century, modern medicine is able to prolong the life of a patient. This dramatic improvement has raised appreciation as well as criticisms in and outside of the medical community. This is because of the important questions that come in about the end-of-life decisions. This is about who really is empowered to make the decisions regarding life, and which quality of life factors should really be considered with these end of life decisions.
With technology, the medical world is come up with life support systems which literally “supports” life even those who are already dying. Because of this, ethical issues regarding when and who will decide on who pulls the plug came up. There are debates on who really has a say to stop the life from these patients. Some say the decision lies on the hands of the doctors, as they are the ones who can perceive whether or not a person still has a chance to survive.
Some say the decision depends on the family members and loved ones of the patients, since it is up to them if they want to lessen the patient’s suffering. This goes in line with the concept of Euthanasia or “mercy killing” which aims to lessen the suffering of the dying patient. There are however several ethical questions which euthanasia has to answer, as it diverts from what the medical community stands for: to prolong and improve the quality of life of a patient.
However, we still lack of the comprehensive bioethical rules and laws regarding these end of life decisions, that’s why doctors, as well as relatives and loved ones doesn’t know when it is the time to let go of the patient and literally “pull the plug”. If the patient however understands the situation he or she is in, he can aid the decision making process of ending his life by creating a will that appoints a relative or friend to carry out what he wishes.