Common Remedies for Euthanasia: Care and Communication

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COMMON REMEDIES FOR EUTHANASIA: CARE AND COMMUNICATION

Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending a life in an attempt to relieve pain. It has been a controversial topic for a long time and innumerable researches have been done on this issue. In this essay, various articles have been considered in order to summarize two key areas of concern in euthanasia and the corresponding suggestions of the articles for these areas.

The first key area of concern for many scholars is the subjective value of the patients’ lives. In other words, whether the patients feel their lives meaningful is a dominating factor determining the righteousness of euthanasia. Lo (2009) provides five criteria for physicians to decide whether euthanasia is justified. The first two criteria state that the patients should be terminally ill with continuous suffering while no palliative care can alleviate the pain. This may imply that no hope of recovery but endless torturing demeans the quality and also the meaning of the patients’ lives and hence euthanasia may be acceptable and is considered as the last resort of this situation. Similar ideas have been mentioned by other articles. McDougall & Gorman (2008) use the term “quality of life” to indicate the subjective feelings of the patients and suggest that this item is a fundamental cause of patients’ requests for dying even though it may not be quantifiable. The fundamentality of the quality of patients’ lives contributes to its essentiality of consideration before responding to euthanasia. Qiu (1993) uses the term “brain death” to define the death of a person and clearly states that the meaning but not the process of living is of utmost importance in China. This suggests that maintaining the life is not important when the patients cannot feel the meaning of life. All these analyses essentially show that patients’ feelings and evaluations of their lives should be considered with discretion in responding to euthanasia....
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