The Ethical Debate in the Medical World of Euthanasia

Topics: Death, Medicine, Terminal illness Pages: 2 (441 words) Published: October 17, 2010
The Ethical Debate in the Medical World of Euthanasia

The medical use of euthanasia has been one the most highly debated topics in healthcare for many years. Should you be able to decide when you want to die? Should physicians help patients who no longer wish to live die? To help gain insight into this highly controversial and fascinating topic, I have chosen an article from Santa Clara University. In this article, the author gave a beautiful example of an acceptable situation in which I believe euthanasia can be used. He explained that his first wife was dying of inoperable bone cancer. She had thrombosis, broken bones, and no longer had any control over her bowels. It was no longer a question of if she was going to die; it was a question of when. She had been suffering for two years and could no longer withstand the pain of her terminal illness. The authors have lobbied for a new law that would allow the use of euthanasia in the treatment of patients suffering from terminal diseases. Under their law, two different physicians would have to both determine that patient is dying from a terminal disease that can not be cured or successfully treated. As stated by one of the authors, Derek Humphry; “It’s me. It’s my body. It’s my liberty. It’s my life. And it’s my death. Let me have control.” If we have given patients the right to refuse feeding tubes and other life saving measures then why should they be stripped of the right to end their unbearable suffering. The biggest principle surround the use of euthanasia is autonomy, the right to self-determination. Some individuals argue that autonomy gives you the freedom to have another person intervene to take your life, while others argue that taking one’s life is a contraindication of autonomy as you are giving away your freedom. There is no doubt that this topic will be debated for many years to come. I personally believe that an individual suffering a terminal disease should be given the right...
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