This is a very difficult topic to discuss or write about. After reading this book I strongly believe in it, but after thinking about it for a while I realise what all the negative aspects of it are.
You may think that the right thing for the doctors to do with Jim was to take his life just to spare him the suffering. But (and that is a big but) how could they know that his mind where working!? For all they knew he was just a piece of brain dead meat that they had been able to keep "alive". But seen from Joe's point of view the only right thing to do was to take his life.
But then again moral comes into the picture like in all other questions mankind ask herself. Are we authorized to take another persons life without becoming a murderer or a beast? But on the other side, if you don't help him/her (I will be referring to "her" from now on) because you don't want to lose her, wouldn't that make you an egoist!?
I believe that some might say that the right thing to do is to make the ill one "pull the trigger" herself. But what if she gets temporarily worse and can't stand it. Wouldn't she pull the trigger to make it all stop!? I think I would.
I've talked about the physical aspects. But what if she gets a psychological breakdown or gets really depressed? Couldn't such a state of mind make her ask for someone to take her life or make her "pull the trigger" herself? Or what if she is on drugs to ease the pain, and while somewhat affected she asks a relative to take her life.
I think that to be able to permit euthanasia you must be sure that the person that the action is to be taken on has given her fully agreement to this in a state of mind that is completely pure from drugs and doesn't show any signs of any psychological disorder at all.
But there will always be people struggling to forbid euthanasia and I understand why. But I also think that if a person is really ill and will remain ill for the rest of her life, and if she...