Are we to dispute and disregard such suffering or do we acknowledge such cases and, therefore, kill terminally ill patients who are not in serious physical pain?If pain and suffering is the bench-mark for which terminally ill patients can request the "right to die," what are we to do about the palliative care inequities that exist across the world, including in the United States?Tags: Stanford University Creative WritingResearch Papers FormatHeading For College EssayHec Mba Essays 2012Barack Obama Research PaperResearch Paper On MemoryJoinery Business Plan
If such individuals started demanding "voluntary" euthanasia, saying that their suffering was unbearable, would we be willing to accommodate them too? Are we going to refuse him because we judge that his life is more meaningful than that of a cancer sufferer and that his pain is less acute? There simply is no "dignity" in such death, and society as a whole cannot appear to be condoning such practices by legalizing them.
As for those who fly the banner of the rights and wishes of the patient, we must keep in mind that certain individual freedoms, such as the right to sell oneself into slavery, must be restricted because of their broader societal implications.
The problem with such reasoning is that admitting that quality is more important that sanctity is tantamount to saying that individuals who have a lesser quality of life than us have a life which is less sacred.
By this reasoning, our lives are more precious than those of the starving kids in Ethiopia who have an abysmally low quality of life and a very painful existence.
In 1870, Samuel Williams first proposed using anesthetics and morphine to intentionally end a patient's life.
Over the next 35 years, debates about the ethics of euthanasia raged in the United States and Britain, culminating in 1906 in an Ohio bill to legalize euthanasia, a bill that was ultimately defeated.So then, who is to determine who really qualifies for the procedure?Are we going to restrict it to simply those who suffer physical pain? It can be claimed that the mental suffering associated with a terminal disease is as unbearable as physical pain.But the scenarios described above pertain to patients who are not only terminally ill, but have made a rational decision that they want to end their lives.However, their reasons remain unjustifiable to society in general.The arguments propounded for and against euthanasia in the 19th century are identical to contemporary arguments.Such similarities suggest four conclusions: Public interest in euthanasia 1) is not linked with advances in biomedical technology; 2) it flourishes in times of economic recession, in which individualism and social Darwinism are invoked to justify public policy; 3) it arises when physician authority over medical decision making is challenged; and 4) it occurs when terminating life-sustaining medical interventions become standard medical practice and interest develops in extending such practices to include euthanasia.These views stem not from any particular religious belief, but out of a basic respect for human life anywhere and in any condition.Most supporters of euthanasia maintain that they believe in the basic sanctity and dignity of life, but argue that ending the suffering of terminally ill patients at their request is actually a move which respects sanctity of life.Even today, arguments for ending unbearable suffering do evoke a sympathetic response from me.But even as someone who has seen close-up the pain that terminally ill patients and their relatives experience, I still find myself strongly opposed to voluntary euthanasia in any form.