Euthanasia Position Paper - Against Euthanasia

Topics: Suffering, Death, Pain Pages: 6 (2262 words) Published: December 16, 2002
Assisted Suicide, mercy killing, euthanasia; whatever you call it or however we justified it is killing by all means. Euthanasia is a practice of ending a life to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering. It is an action which brings intentional death to a patient. In the case of the elderly cancer patient, the family and the patient does not know whether or not to commit euthanasia. The author response in this case, is that the elderly cancer patient should not go for euthanasia, since she has a biographical life. He came to the right conclusion, even though he did not have a valid argument. The author should have advised the patient not to commit euthanasia by using the three main arguments against euthanasia, which are the Bible from a Christian prospective, the effective pain management, and the fear of abuse if euthanasia were legalized.

Case History: A seventy one-year-old Christian woman developed cancer in her kidney. Physicians helped her by removing the kidney. However, now the cancer has spread to other parts of her body. The physicians say that she needs dialysis, since her second kidney is now failing. They believe that dialysis might keep her alive for six to nine months. Without dialysis, she would probably survive a couple of weeks. An experimental drug that might have some effect on her cancer is coming onto the market. The new drug might help her fight the cancer, if she could survive for six months. Despite her insurance policy, she is sending a tremendous amount of money from her life savings. Her son thinks death is unavoidable and wants to avoid dialysis. He thinks bankrupting the family for a long shot is meaningless. Her daughter is a Christian who feels bad about not doing everything she can to help her mother.

The question that is presented at the end of this case history is what should one say to guide this family on whether or not the elderly cancer patient should go for euthanasia? Author's Response: According to the article "James Rachels and the Active Euthanasia Debate" by J. P. Moreland, the elderly cancer patient should not go for euthanasia. The author would defend his answer by stating that the personal biographic life of the elderly cancer patient is enough to prevent her from committing euthanasia. The author believes that the desire to die is rational only if one's lost his/her biographical life. He defines one's biographical life as "the sum of one's aspirations, decisions, activities, projects, and human relations". This means that a person biographical life is the interests that are important and worthwhile from the point view of the person himself. He argues that "the fact that something has biological life, whether human or non-human is relatively unimportant". What is important from his point of view is someone who has biographical life. He adds that all kinds of animals have a biographical life, since they have thoughts, emotions, goals, and cares. As a matter of fact an animal with a biographical life has more value than human with biological life. He believes that in the case of the elderly cancer patient, even though she has cancer, she still has thoughts, emotions, goals, cares, and human relations.

The author argues that since she never told her children how she felt about terminal care, shows that she still has cares, thoughts, and emotions. Having a daughter and a son also show that she has human relationships. The author argues that since she is a Christian her goal in life should be to praise Christ. According to the author, since she has thoughts, emotions, goals, cares, and human relationships, therefore she has a biographical life. He also believes that her biographical life is more than enough to give value to her life. Author's conclusion: The author concludes that the family of the elderly cancer patient and the patient herself should not commit euthanasia.

His conclusion was based on one main premise, which is that the...
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