Death and Assignment Euthanasia Life

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Katia Mathieu
March, 7, 2012
HUM 225
Ethics
Professor Donn Mitchell
Research Assignment

Euthanasia
Life is precious, but at the same time, living life isn’t easy, as there are many obstacles that a person will encounter as life progresses. Based on the lifestyles that we chose, such as smoking, overeating, and taking drugs, there can be many resulting factors that may lead a person to suffer as a result of their actions, i.e.: getting lung cancer from smoking. Although suffering may be mild or severe, it’s something that can’t be escaped. One way or another, anyone and everyone will suffer in some sense throughout their life, whether it be physically or emotionally. As humans, we are passing away. Everyone will go when their time is near. Some people just can’t wait another because they feel that they can’t stand to suffer anymore. So they look to solutions such as committing suicide. Attempting to commit suicide is seen as a crime in most parts of the world, and is also seen as being morally wrong, as life is indeed seen as being precious. But what if a person is suffering from a sickness and has to spend their life in pain but doesn’t want to? What if a particular person is relying on feeding tubes and/or other methods of life support to aide them in maintaining their life for as long as possible, and they or their family no longer wants this? What if the person just wants to die to end their suffering and their family’s suffering? Would it be okay for their life to end in such an instance? Many people’s views vary on what should be done in such situations as these. Euthanasia is the act of assisting a person in death to end pain and or suffering. In the Greek language, it translates to “good death”. In most cases it’s done by a doctor, someone working in the medical field, or a trusted person of the individual wishing to die. Euthanasia can be put into these basic categories: Active euthanasia, which can be looked at as and assisted suicide, and passive euthanasia. When it comes to active euthanasia, known is mercy killing, it focuses on using medical skills, such as using prescription drugs, and knowledge as the main focus to assist in killing the individual, as opposed to passive euthanasia, in which the person assisting the individual in dying stops giving them the medication needed to help them live. In cases dealing with assisted suicide, trusted people who were close to the individual seeking death such as their friends, members of their family, doctors and physicians, grant the individual their wish for assistance in ending their lives. There are many arguments that entail whether or not euthanasia is something that should be made legal or not. Some believe that life is precious and shouldn’t be ended before it’s intended to, regardless of the circumstances, while others believe that such a solution is a personal choice and that there are serious reasons as why a person should decide to end their life. Examples of such arguments that describe viewpoints opposing euthanasia come from people descending from Christian backgrounds. Since many Christians believe that life is given by God, and that human beings are made in God's image, life is sacred (BBC News, 2009). Also, many churches place an emphasis the importance of not interfering with the natural process of death because the process of dying is spiritually important and doing something to mess with this process, such as euthanasia, can interfere with the person’s spirit moving towards God (BBC News, 2009). According to BBC News’ website, many Christians also believe that “patients in a persistent vegetative state, although seriously damaged, remain living human beings, and so their intrinsic value remains the same as anyone else's, so it would be wrong to treat their lives as worthless and to conclude that they 'would be better off dead'[…] patients who are old or sick, and who are near the end of earthly life have the same value...
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