February 20, 2012
Let’s start off by defining the word euthanasia so that this paper is clear and then we can get in to why it can be passive or active. Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma (dictionary.com). Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide and more loosely termed being mercy killing, basically means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable suffering. Some interpret euthanasia as the practice of ending life in a painless manner. Many disagree with this interpretation, because it needs to include a reference to intractable suffering. Euthanasia is illegal. Now that we know what euthanasia is we can breakdown the two procedural classification of euthanasia (medicalnewstoday.com)."Passive euthanasia" is usually defined as withdrawing medical treatment with the deliberate intention of causing the patient's death. For example, if a patient requires kidney dialysis to survive, and the doctors disconnect the dialysis machine, the patient will presumably die fairly soon. Perhaps the classic example of passive euthanasia is a "do not resuscitate order". Normally if a patient has a heart attack or similar sudden interruption in life functions, medical staff will attempt to revive them. If they make no such effort but simply stand and watch as the patient dies, this is passive euthanasia. "Active euthanasia" is taking specific steps to cause the patient's death, such as injecting the patient with poison. In practice, this is usually an overdose of pain-killers or sleeping pills. In other words, the difference between "active" and "passive" is that in active euthanasia, something is done to end the patient's life; in passive euthanasia, something is not done that would have preserved the patient's life. An important idea behind this distinction is that in "passive euthanasia" the doctors are not actively killing anyone; they are simply not saving him. You would surely not be prosecuted for homicide. Thus, proponents of euthanasia say that while we can debate whether active euthanasia should be legal, there can be no debate about passive euthanasia: You cannot prosecute someone for failing to save a life (pregnantpause.org). Euthanasia has been a very controversial and emotive topic for a long time (medicalnewstoday.com). The beliefs that I have on euthanasia is that is right and it is wrong at the same time. I feel that asking someone to play God is not the way to go. Active euthanasia is just a way for someone to take the easy way out. I understand that they are hurting and are in pain but that’s why the medical field has many different types of pain medicines to keep the patient comfortable enough to deal with everyday life. I think that if a doctor agrees with giving his patient a lethal dose of medicines to end their life is wrong and that then becomes assisted suicide and that they should not have been a doctor because they have violated their oath to protect and heal patients and keep them alive. Whose place is it to decide if one lives or one dies? No one here on earth, I feel like the person that is requesting this type of method to end their life is committing suicide and you are not supposed to take your own life those are my religious beliefs. Another religious belief is that God will not put more on you than you can bear, which means this is all about the endurance you have to preserve life until it is time for you to die a natural life. The other reason why I feel that it is kind of wrong to have a passive euthanasia is because you should not give up on life, you should try all the ways to survive that you can except in the situation of being brain dead or being a vegetable. But then I feel that it is that person right to decide do not resuscitate because that is there right they have that medical right to decide if they do not want to...
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