Around 130,000 people were euthanized each year at the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient. Although people argue that they should be able to die when they want, euthanasia should not be an option, because it is cruel, unjust, and is unfair to others, including the patient. My first reason that euthanasia should not be an option is that it is cruel. Some family members would resort to killing the patients themselves if euthanasia was not permitted. Family members would enter hospitals and unplug machines, and suffocate their targets, making that person a murder.
For example, a fifteen-month-old child, Sammy Linares, swallowed a balloon, which messed up his breathing resulting in Sammy falling into a coma. The doctors told Sammy’s father that he wasn’t expected to wake up. The father asked the hospital to let his son die, and they refused. After a few days, the dad came to the hospital with a gun, holding back staff, while he unplugged his son from the life support.
Later the doctors told the family that Sammy was recovering, but they couldn’t see it at the time. If the dad hadn’t murdered his son, Sammy would’ve lived (Gay 36&37).
People give in to their despair, instead of holding onto hope. Is it worth letting a loved one die, even if they would be in a coma for many years if you could one day get them back? It is not only cruel to the patient, but to the patient’s future children and family.
All of the potential was ripped away the moment someone was selfish enough to kill their family so they wouldn’t have to deal with them. Some religions believe that every human being is the creation of God. this creates limits. Our lives are not only our lives for us to do with what we see fit. Too kill yourself or to get another to do it for you is to deny God and his love for us. Christians believe that life is a gift from God birth and death are part of the life process which God has created, so we should respect them. Therefore no human being has the authority to take the life of an innocent person even if that person wants to die.
Saint Augustine thought that suicide was just another form of homicide. The New King James Version Bible says, “No man has the authority…over the day of death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8). “…or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you when you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought at a price, so glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).
Suicide and euthanasia weren’t uncommon in the ancient time. Ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t think that every life had value. The word ‘Euthanasia’ comes from the Greek language, two words that mean Good death. Sir Francis Bacon used it to mean”fair and easy” passage from life. Having a good death can mean different things to different people, some as having a good life. Most would say that it means dying painlessly with your friends and family in a peaceful place (Yount 6). The Greeks used it as dying well and arriving at death in a reasonable manner. Killing yourself, to the Greeks, can be done, but only for good and honorable reasons. For example, if you were ill with a painful disease, grieving or disgraced.
Euthanasia is unjust. The definition of unjust is, not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair. Doctors are challenged with their morality every day that someone asks for euthanasia. Should they respect the patients and let them die, or should they do the best to let them live, which is what their job used to be? Dax Cowart was badly burned in 1983 during a gas explosion. John Robertson brought Dax to a seminar for doctors to give his story. Cowart tells them that he survived the accident, but feels that his rights were violated because the doctors used life-sustaining treatment even though he didn’t want it. Is Dax right to be angry at the doctors, or did the doctors do the right thing in saving his life? Doctors used to have little doubt what their jobs were, saving people, prolonging life, and curing. If euthanasia is in the job description, they have to struggle with the morality of killing someone (Yount 26).
Doctors view the death of a patient as a failure, even if it wasn’t their fault. Imagine how they would feel when hundreds of people ask for euthanasia. The more that doctors managed to cure illness and prolong life, the more people start saying that they are prolonging suffering. Pushing for death should not be a doctor’s goal. Passive and aggressive euthanasia are defined based on the doctor’s role in the suicide. Euthanasia is also known as assisted suicide because the patient is usually too physically weak to commit suicide by themselves. Active euthanasia is killing somebody as an act of kindness, using injections and lethal drugs. Passive euthanasia is when someone is allowed to die by taking away treatment, or not giving the life-saving treatment (Gay 17 & 18).
People who support the right to die say that life is not simply your body being alive, saying it’s not the same as having a life. They think that a person’s life ends when a person can’t function as a person. “I’ve seen patients rocking in bed in terrible pain – it doesn’t seem like something god would want. Medical tech can save life, but life isn’t always worth living out” a bioethicist told a local reporter in 1992 (36 & 37). Some were not satisfied with having the right to die, they wanted terminally ill people to have medical staff to aid them in ending their lives if a person was physically unable to commit suicide. Should the command, give no lethal drug, be honored even if it is the patient’s will (Yount 21 & 251)?
In the end, the debate over Euthanasia is a very large one with many different statements to argue, both for and against. The topic of euthanasia will probably not be solved for a long time, and even then a lot of people will not agree with the decision made. One last thing to think about is, are we preserving life or postponing death?