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Transcript of Euthanasia
By: Anna & Chloe
what is euthanasia?
- The term euthanasia originated from Greece.
- EU - "good" + Thanatos - "death".
- It is translated as an "easy or happy death".
- It is the act or practice of ending the life of a person, either by lethal injection or the suspension of medical treatment.
- The person who undergoes euthanasia usually has a non-curable condition.
- This 'procedure' ends their pain and suffering.
What is Euthanasia?
- When a person makes a voluntary and enduring request to be helped to die.
- To end a persons life without their knowledge or consent.
- To end a persons life by use of drugs, whether by oneself or with the aid of a physician.
- To end a persons life by not taking the necessary and ordinary action to maintain life. This can be done by withdrawing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures.
- Suicide accomplished with the aid of another person.
- Suicide accomplished with the aid of a medical doctor intentionally providing a person with an overdose of prescription medication.
Other Important Terms
Euthanasia is legal in...
- Since September 2002
- Two doctors and a psychologist are involved
- Through a prescribed overdose or lethal injection
- Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are both legal.
- The law was passed in 2002 but the courts have permitted the practice since the 1980's.
- 3% of all deaths.
Oregon - (1997)
The patient must have made two verbal requests and another in writing with a witness for the doctors to end his or her life.
Two doctors need to agree.
The patient will have to personally administer the medication.
Washington - (2008)
Similar requirements to the Oregon law.
The request needs to be 15 days apart.
The patient must be suffering from a terminally ill condition with a life expectancy of six months or less.
Montana - (2009)
The law allows the physician to assist the patient by providing prescription lethal medication which the patient will take on their own.
Vermont - (2013)
Similar requirements as the laws in Oregon and Washington.
*note: The person must be a resident in all of the above states to participate in euthanasia!
- Passive euthanasia is legal.
- Active euthanasia is illegal and is considered to be murder.
- Physician assisted suicide is illegal.
- Assisted suicide:
- Until 1972, it was an offense even to attempt suicide and those who tried to take their own lives were often prosecuted.
- Chronically ill Canadians have argued that they have the right to assistance when they wish to commit suicide.
- However, disability right groups often oppose legalizing assisted suicide.
- They believe that people who have disabilities may be pressured to end their lives.
Jacob Kevorkian: 1928 - 2011
Was a Michigan physician infamous for encouraging and assisting people in committing suicide.
Nicknamed “Dr. Death”.
Invented the “suicide machine”.
His machine allowed a person to push a switch to administer a fatal injection through an intravenous needle that he had inserted.
He was jailed after televising an act of assisted suicide.
Charged with 2 degree murder and served an 8 year sentence for his role in a case of voluntary euthanasia.
Released on condition he would not offer suicide advice to any other person.
Claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients.
Most religions are against euthanasia
"Crime against life"
"Crime against God"
The Church’s arguments are based on the beliefs that life is given by God and that human beings are made in God’s image.
Life is a gift from God:
All life is God-given
Birth and death are part of the life process which God has created, so we should respect them.
Therefore no human being has the authority to take the life of any innocent person, even if that person wants to die.
Human beings are valuable because they are made in God’s image:
To propose euthanasia for an individual is to judge that the current life of that individual is not worthwhile.
No one has the right to value anyone, even themselves as worthless.
The Value of Human Life
1) No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without apposite God's love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing a crime of the utmost gravity.
2) Everyone has the duty to lead his or her life in accordance with Gods plan. That life is entrusted to the individual as a good that must bear fruit already here on earth but that finds it's full perfection only in eternal life.
3) Intentionally causing ones own death, or, suicide, is therefore equally as wrong as murder; such as an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of gods sovereignty and loving plan
Pope Benedict XVI stated in a Dec. 18, 2008 address to the Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the Holy See,
"I would also like to take the opportunity of our meeting to express to you my very deep concern
about the text of the law on euthanasia and assisted suicide that is currently being discussed in Parliament. In practice, this text accompanied moreover and in a contradictory manner by another bill which contains felicitous legal measures for developing palliative care to make suffering more bearable in the final stages of illness and to encourage the appropriate humane care for the patient legitimizes the possibility of putting an end to life. Political leaders, who have the grave duty of serving the good of the human being, and likewise doctors and families, must remember that '
the deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit
' (Encyclical Evangelium vitae, n. 57). In truth, love and true compassion take a different path. The request that rises from the human heart, especially when a person is tempted to cede to discouragement and has reached the point of wishing to disappear, is above all a request for company and an appeal for greater solidarity and support in trial. This appeal may seem demanding but it is the only one worthy of the human being and gives access to new and deeper forms of solidarity which, ultimately, enrich and strengthen family and social ties. On this path of humanization all people of good will are asked to cooperate and the Church, for her part, is determined to commit to it all her resources of attention and service. Faithful to their Christian and human roots and to the constant concern to further the common good, may every member of the population of Luxembourg always have at heart to reaffirm the greatness and inviolable character of human life!"
Born: May 2, 1945
Died: September 18, 2013
A Canadian microbiologist
Known for his role in battling the SAR's (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome; a severe viral infection of the lungs characterized by high fever, a dry cough, and breathing difficulties).
Diagnosed with a brain tumor In February 2013.
After his death, a video was posted calling for Canada to allow assisted suicide.
"I'm frustrated with not being able to have control of my own life, not being able to make the decision myself when enough is enough."
Dr. Donald Low
On October 24, 1993, Robert Latimer killed his 12 year old daughter, Tracy.
She was a 40 pound quadriplegic who functioned at a level of a 3 month old.
He placed her in the cab of his pickup truck, ran a hose from the exhaust to the cab, and killed her by carbon monoxide poisoning.
He explained his actions as a form of “compassionate homicide”.
Charged with 2 degree murder.
Served seven years.
Received early parole.
R.V. Latimer - (Criminal case)
Thoughts & Opinions
“It's all circumstantial. If the person is terminally ill and they would be avoiding pain by dying with dignity then in my opinion that's understandable. But if its just somebody who's given up on life, no.”
“For, if a patient consciously chooses that option and is 100% sure, for whatever reason to end their suffering, who are we to deny them what they want? It's their life.”
“Against. Killing is not health care”
“I believe that a person should have access to proper medical and spiritual services/guidance to help them make and carry out a decision to end their life if they are terminally ill.”
“I am for euthanasia. I believe that if you are in pain, you should have the right to do whatever you want to your body. I don’t think anyone wants to live their life in pain and should be able to decide for themselves. What type of life is it if you are always in pain? There really isn’t anything to live for if you are suffering.”
“I am against euthanasia. It is not our choice to take a life, as much as we love the person.”
“Euthanasia should be allowed under certain circumstances. If it becomes legal, people might take advantage of this procedure. Cases that are considering euthanasia will become less extreme and even things such as psychological problems will have euthanasia as an option.”
“I am for euthanasia. A person should have some say in when he/she is tired of fighting the inevitable.”
“I am against euthanasia. Death is not always painful. Sometimes the patient has no ability to speak for themselves and could therefore not be able to argue their opinion. Many doctors are also against it because they feel morally wrong doing the very opposite they swore to; to help and try and save any sick or injured person.”
“I am for euthanasia. People want to die with integrity. It should be allowed only if the person is terminally ill. If the person is unable to make a rational decision in their mental/physical state, then their family has the right to decide.”
1. Where did the term euthanasia originate and what is it translated to?
2. What does physician assisted suicide mean?
3. What states is euthanasia legal?
4. What type of euthanasia is legal in Canada?
5. What is Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s nickname?
6. On what condition was he released on?
7. What is Dr. Low best known for?
8. In the video, what did he call Canada to allow?
9. The Church says euthanasia is a crime against ______ and crime against _______.
10. Who is Robert Latimer?
Malcolm in the Middle Episode
Textbook: All About Law-Exploring the Canadian Legal System, Terry G. Murphy
Dr. Oz - The Right to Die Debate