Euthanasia

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Euthanasia
William Edwards
December 3, 2012
HCA 322
Linda Hoppe

Euthanasia is a very controversial topic with people not just in America, but around the world. Let’s start with defining euthanasia and the two different type of euthanasia. Euthanasia is, “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy” (Merriam-Webster, 2012). There are two different types of euthanasia. Type one is active euthanasia; active euthanasia is, “the practice of injecting a patient with a lethal dose of medication with the primary intention of ending a patient’s life, at the patient’s request” (Medical-Dictionary.com, 2012). The second type of euthanasia is passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is, “the ending of life by the deliberate withholding of drugs or other life-sustaining treatment” (Medical-Dictionary.com, 2012) Active euthanasia would be closer to the actual act of assisted suicide, because it requires the help of others to inject something lethal into another’s system. Passive euthanasia would be a doctor following a person’s request for example if they had a living will or a do not resuscitate order (DNR).

People have many varying opinions on euthanasia; some opinions go back and forth depending on the situation, but in my case I have one opinion and that is that euthanasia should be legalized and used if a person requests it when they are in a situation where their life will end due to a terminal illness. My father had never really taken care of himself and he had been diabetic since the age of 10. Knowing that his health wasn’t what it should be he had a living will and a DNR done and went over everything with my mother and my two brothers. On New Year’s Eve 3 years ago my mother and father were in Las Vegas when my father started feeling sick and decided he needed to go to the hospital to get checked out. The doctors thought that he was having or had, had a stroke and wanted to run test to determine if they were right. One test they wanted to run was a CT scan with contrast. This for my father was kind of dangerous because he was on dialysis due to his diabetes causing kidney failure and the contrast wouldn’t get filtered out of his body like a normal person’s would. They were in the middle of the CT scan when my father had a heart attack and a stroke all at the same time. This caused my father to fall into a coma. My mother called my two brothers and I and told us the situation and stated that we needed to fly out immediately. She stated that they were putting him on life support until we could get there, because he was unresponsive and not breathing on his own anymore. I asked my mother about the DNR, because I remember my father’s wishes and knew that he didn’t want to be on any life support. She stated that they didn’t have the papers with them and therefore the doctors couldn’t follow them. She stated that the life support measure was just until we all go there to say our goodbyes and then she would have them shut off the machine. Once I reached the hospital and saw my father hooked up to all those machines I knew that he would never have wanted this. My family and I talked everything over and decided that he wouldn’t want this and to turn everything off. When we entered the room my father’s hand moved (which was the first movement he had done in three days) and my mother and brothers instantly decided that they couldn’t turn off the machines because he moved and he might be coming out of it. After three more days of no change I talked to my mother about my dad’s wishes and how he would never want to be hooked up to the machines like he was relying on others to clean him up after urinating and defecating on himself. This isn’t the type of man he was and he would never want this for himself. My mother agreed, but stated that she couldn’t do it; she couldn’t sign the papers to turn off...
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