Is Euthanasia Immoral?

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Is Euthanasia Immoral?

Mr. Blackburn
Inquiry Skills
2 Dec. 1996

In today's society there are many disagreements about the rights and wrongs of euthanasia. Although death is unavoidable for human beings, suffering before death is unbearable not only for terminal patients but for the family members and friends. Euthanasia comes from the Greek word "Thanatos" meaning death and the prefix "eu" meaning easy or good (Russell 94). Thus, "eu- Thanatos" meaning easy or good death. Euthanasia is a better choice for terminal patients than suicide.

In our society, suicide is always traumatic for families and friends. If there is no alternative to relieve the suffering of terminal patients, then the more humane option to suicide is euthanasia. An option for people that are unsure of euthanasia is called DNR or do not resuscitate(McCuen 2). This means that if the patient has a heart attack or another potentially fatal problem in the hospital, the doctors are told to preform a " No Code" which means that they should let the patient die peacefully with any amount of painkillers or medication requested by the patient(McCuen 3). Doctors that are treating a dying patient should treat them with care. They should make them as comfortable as possible and give them medication to dull their pain.

Instructors tell doctors in training to treat dying patients as people " that are alive but just that their death is more imminent than our own"(Moroney 2).

Many families could rest easy that their relative is being treated well and are receiving the necessary attention. A lot of terminal patients decide to sign DNR forms or request euthanasia so that they would not be a burden on their families. Euthanasia should be legalized in all of the United States because it would end much suffering and pain.

Euthanasia is the justified killing or assisted killing of a disabled or terminally ill person at their will or if the patient is incapable of making the decision, at the family's will(Satris 260). The doctor or in some cases, a family member, uses injections, weapons, or other means of killing to act out euthanasia. But euthanasia is usually gentle and quiet. In most of the cases of euthanasia, the patient died by lethal injection or certain life support systems were withheld.

There are many types of euthanasia. The most common type is voluntary euthanasia(Russell 32). Voluntary euthanasia is euthanasia that is preformed at the will of the patient. Involuntary euthanasia is the other type of euthanasia(Russell 32). That is when the patient does not want euthanasia, but it is administered (i.e.-compulsory). There are also different ways to administer euthanasia. One is direct euthanasia, which is deliberately inducing death in order to terminate hopeless suffering(Russell 31). Then there is indirect euthanasia which is indirectly causing death with the use of drugs to relieve pain, but hasten death(Russell 31).

When a patient pleads for euthanasia doctors are placed in a dilemma. If they help the patient die then their practicing license could be taken away and they may be taken to court, possibly ruining their career(McCuen 53). However, the patient who is constantly in pain will always be on the doctor's conscience unless they do something about it. Usually the doctor decides to help the patient by either giving the patient extremely strong painkillers and telling them the lethal dosage or directly assisting in the death of the patient(McCuen 53).

A doctor that has helped terminal patients die is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He is probably the most well known for this practice because he does not deny he practices it. The first case that Dr. Kevorkian had was in 1990. He met his "patient" in Michigan (which did not prohibit euthanasia at that time). The woman's name was Janet Adkins, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease(Levine 114). Using a machine that Kevorkian...
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