A Crime of Compassion by Barbara Huttmann

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A Crime of Compassion by Barbara Huttmann

By | Feb. 2011
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We as individuals have rights and are held responsible for our actions in society. Society and culture influences the behaviour of individuals and in a democracy the principle of individual rights and choices are highly valued. Since we are responsible for our own actions individuals therefore have the right to make their own decisions on matters that are primarily their own concern. Do these matters include whether we really have the right to die? Today, the practice of euthanasia causes great controversy. In the article “A Crime of Compassion” Barbara Huttmann effectively presented a message that euthanasia is really an act of compassion and a way to give suffering patients a peaceful death which is in the interest of the patient. The author gives an account that her patient was a vibrant young man that had been reduced to agony and a loss of self respect that comes hand in hand with not being able to control your own bowel and bladder movements. Where was the respect that hospital officials had for his right to self determination? Where was the respect for his right to die? In situations where a patient has no prospect for remission of illness or a cure and they request the right to die peacefully through medical assistance or else face the agony of a slow and painful death, the only moral thing to do is to respect the patient’s right to die. What is morally right however is different to what is legal in many countries on the subject of euthanasia. It’s only right to respect one’s decision as concern the quality of life. Life embraces self awareness, the ability to communicate with others, and to be conscious of and respond meaningfully to our surroundings. When such attributes are gone, never to return, live is devoid of quality. Each and every country is governed by rules and laws, whether you consider the justice system to be fair or not fair. We must however reflect compassion for humanity in our laws. Once there is a willingness to do this then the...
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