Morality And Practicality Of Euthanasia Morality and Practicality of Euthanasia Euthanasia is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as the action of killing an individual for reasons considered to be merciful (Leonesio 292).
Here, killing is described as the physical action where one individual actively kills another. Euthanasia is tolerated in the medical field under certain circumstances when a patient is suffering profoundly and death is inevitable. The word euthanasia comes from the Greek eu, good, and thanatos, death, literally, good death; however, the word euthanasia is much more difficult to define. Each person may define euthanasia differently.Who is to decide whether a death is good or not? It is generally taken today to mean that act which a health care professional carries out to help his/her patient achieve a good death. While growing up, each of us learns a large number of rules of conduct. Which rules we learn will depend on the kind of society we live in and the parents and the friends we have.
Sometimes we learn a rule without understanding its point. In most cases this may work out, for the rule may be designed to cover ordinary circumstances, but when faced with unusual situations, we may be in trouble. This situation is the same with moral rules.Without understanding the rules, we may come to think of it as a mark of virtue that we will not consider making exceptions to. We need a way of understanding the morality against killing.
The point is not to preserve every living thing possible, but to protect the interests of individuals to have the right of choice to die. Firstly, there are ethical guidelines for euthanasia. If the following guidelines are met, then euthanasia is considered acceptable. The person must be a mature adult. This is essential.
The exact age will depend on the individual but the person should not be a minor who would come under quite different laws.Secondly, the person must have clearly made a considered decision. An individual has the ability now to indicate this with a living will (which applies only to disconnection of life supports) and can also, in today’s more open and tolerant society, freely discuss the option of euthanasia with health-care professionals, family, lawyers, etc. The euthanasia must not be carried out at the first knowledge of a life-threatening illness, and reasonable medical help must have been sought to cure or at least slow down the terminal disease. It is when the fight is clearly hopeless and the agony, physical and mental, is unbearable that a final exit is an option. The treating physician must have been informed, asked to be involved, and his or her response been taken into account. The physician’s response will vary depending on the circumstances, of course, but they should advise their patients that a rational suicide is not a crime.It is best to inform the doctor and hear his or her response.
For example, the patient might be mistaken. Perhaps the diagnosis has been misheard or misunderstood. Patients raising this subject were met with a discreet silence or meaningless remarks in the past but in today’s more accepting climate most physicians will discuss potential end of life actions. The person must have a Will disposing of his or her worldly effects and money.
( Docker) This shows evidence of a tidy mind, an orderly life, and forethought, all things which are important to an acceptance of rational suicide. The person must have made plans to die that do not involve others in criminal liability or leave them with guilty feelings. Assistance in suicide is a crime in most places, although the laws are gradually changing, and very few cases ever come before the courts. The only well known instance of a lawsuit concerning this is the doctor-assisted suicide of Dr. Kevorkian. The person must leave a note saying exactly why he or she is taking their life.
This statement in writing removes the chance of misunderstandings or blame.It also demonstrates that the departing person is taking full responsibility for the action. These are all guidelines for allowing a euthanasia to take place. By this, I mean the doctor is involved in the patient’s decision and actively performs the euthanasia. The common argument in support of euthanasia is one that is called The argument of mercy. Patients sometimes suffer pain that can hardly be comprehended by those who have not experienced it.The suffering would be so terrible that people wouldn’t want to read or think about; and recoil in horror from its description.
The argument for mercy simply states: Euthanasia is morally justified because it ends suffering. Terminally ill patients are people who will never attain a personal existence, never experience life as a net value, and/or never achieve a minimal level of independence. The moral issue regarding euthanasia is not affected by whether more could have been done for a patient; but whether euthanasia is allowable if it is the only alternative to torment. Courts and moral philosophers alike have long accepted the proposition that people have a right to refuse medical treatment they find painful or difficult to bear, even if that refusal means certain death.
Individuals have the right to decide about their own lives and deaths.What more basic right is there than to decide if you’re going to live? There is none. A person under a death sentence who’s being kept alive, through so called heroic measures certainly has a fundamental right to say, Enough’s enough. The treatment’s worse than the disease. Leave me alone.
Let me die!.Ironically, those who deny the terminally ill this right do so out of a sense of high morality. Don’t they see that, in denying the gravely ill and suffering the right to release themselves from pain, they commit the greatest crime? (Burnell) Are there no conditions when life is meaningless and should be quietly ended? If a person is subject to pain that won’t stop as a result of a disease that can’t be cured, must he or she suffer that pain as long as possible when there are gentle ways of putting an end to life? If a person suffers from a disease that deprives him or her of all memory and makes him or her a helpless lump of flesh that may live on for years. We spend more than a billion dollars a day for health car while our teachers are underpaid, and our industrial plants are rusty. This should not continue. There is something fundamentally unsustainable about a society that moves its basic value producing industries overseas yet continues to manufacture artificial hearts at home. We have money to give smokers heart transplants but no money to retool out steel mills.We train more doctors and lawyers than we need but fewer teachers.
On any given day, 30 to 40 percent of the hospital beds in America are empty, but our classrooms are overcrowded and our transportation systems are deteriorating. We are great at treating sick people, but we are not that great at treating a sick economy. And we are not succeeding in international trade. When you really look around and try to find industries the United States is succeeding in, you discover that they are very few and far between.(Docker) The period of suffering can be shortened. If you have ever been in a terminal cancer ward, It’s grim but enlightening.
Anyone who’s been there can know how much people can suffer before they die. And not just physically. The emotional, even spiritual, agony is often worse.Today our medical hardware is so sophisticated that the …