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Transcript of Euthanasia
The British define euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering."
In the Netherlands, it is understood as "termination of life by the doctor at the request of a patient." 3 Types Definitions Voluntary: When the patient requests to die out of their own choice. Includes asking for help with dying or asking life support machines be turned off, refusing to eat or accept medical treatment, or simply deciding to let go and die.
Non-Voluntary: When the patient cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known, but is told to be killed by someone else (eg. family member or doctor). This often happens with patients who are in a coma, too young to make such a decision (eg. a baby), are senile, severely brain damaged or mentally disturbed in such a way they should be protected from themselves.
Involuntary: When a patient wants to live but is about to die so they are killed anyways to relieve suffering. This often happens during war. An example of this is: A soldier has their stomach blown open by a shell burst. They are in great pain and screaming in agony. They beg the army doctor to save their life, but the doctor knows they will die within 10 minutes no matter what he does to help. As he has no pain killing drugs with him he decides to spare the soldier further pain and shoots him dead. "Mercy Killing"
"Assisted Suicide" How does it work? A person who undergoes euthanasia usually has an incurable disease/condition. In other instances, some people just want their life to be ended. Killing or Letting die: Euthanasia can be carried out by either taking actions, including giving lethal injection, or by not doing what is necessary to keep the patient alive (such as failing to keep their feeding tube going). Active Euthanasia: A doctor directly takes a patient's life. (Death caused by act.) For example, a patient is killed by being given an overdose of painkillers. Passive Euthanasia: A doctor does not directly take a patient's life, but rather allows them to die. In most cases, this is done by withdrawing or withholding treatment. Indirect Euthanasia: Providing treatment, usually to reduce pain, that has a side effect of speeding up the process by which will cause the patients death. The primary intention is NOT to kill when using this method. Assisted Suicide: Occurs when a person is going to die and needs help to kill themselves and requests to help them do so. It may be as simple as getting drugs for the patient and putting them within their reach. Withdrawing Treatment: Ex. Switching off a machine that is keeping the person alive, so that they may die naturally from their disease. Withholding Treatment: Ex. Not carrying out surgery that will extend their lifespan for a short period of time. The
Debate Pros and Cons Voluntary Euthanasia "Does an individual who has no hope of recovery have the right to decide how and when to end their life?" Pros Self *Prevents a prolonged painful death
*Allows the patient to die painlessly
*Quickest way to give someone the peace they deserve
*It's morally wrong to make anyone live longer than they wish to
*By forcing people to live longer than they wish, it violates their personal freedom and human rights. "Our bodies are our own and we should be allowed to do what we want with them." Family *If you know your loved one is going to die, and is in unbearable pain and suffering, euthanasia will give them a peaceful death and helps the conscience
*Gives the family and loved ones time to say goodbye and to cope with the loss "It is Believed that a civilized society should let their people die in dignity and without pain." Medical and Finances *Financially benefit the family of the patient by saving health costs and reduces the financial burden.
*If knowing to patient is going to die, it would be a waste to spend thousands of dollars just for them to live for a short extended period of time (3 months for example).
*Medical supplies could be used for someone who has a chance of recovery than on someone who has no chance of recovery. Cons Medical *Allowing euthanasia may discourage the search for new cures and treatments for those who are terminally ill.
*Doctors may not be completely sure if the patient will survive or not. "Would mercy killing transform itself from the 'right to die' to 'the right to kill'?" Legal *Feared that if legal, it would be abused and people would be killed who wanted to live
*Believed that it shouldn't be allowed, even if it was morally right, because it could be used as a cover for murder
*Family members may try to influence the patients decision for personal gain such as wealth inheritance. Religion *In Christianity, they believe "Life is given by God, and God should be the only one to decide when to end it."
*Viewed as morally incorrect. History Ancient Greece and Rome was when assisted suicide was first requested. Physicians granted suffering patients poisons but many people were against this. In 4th century B.C.E, Hippocrates, "Father of medicine" created what is now known as the "Hippocratic Oath", in which he stated: "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will i make a suggestion to it's effect." Christianity reinforced the views of the Hippocratic Oath. In the 1200's, Thomas Aquinas penned the "Sin of Suicide" in which he described suicide as a mortal sin. This is thought to be the earliest times of euthanasia use. Conclusion "Suicide is not a crime, Euthanasia should not be a crime." Changed your Mind?