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Recent debates over active euthanasia, “killing” a terminally ill patient, in Holland, has risen the question whether euthanasia is immoral or a simple human right. Doctors seem to have no doubt. They made an oath.
The definition of Euthanasia depends on whether it is active or passive. Active Euthanasia i only allowed in Holland, and it means that the doctor takes direct measures to put a patient to sleep, whereas passive Euthanasia only involves stopping pill consumption, or stopping treatment. In England, only passive Euthanasia is allowed.
Euthanasia touches some of the deepest feelings in human beings. It is the power over life and death, and responsibilities no one wishes to take, have to be taken. This, of cause, leads to the ultimatum, that it is the patients own choice. But can we allow some one to take their own lives? Doesn’t this mean that everyone else around the patient have failed, that more could have been done? From the patients point of view, a lot of arguments talk in favor of euthanasia. For one, no body wants to be a burden. If a person has had a car accident which paralyses him from neck and down, and is doomed to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he knows that he will be 100% dependant on the ones that care for him, his lived ones, forever. It can also be mentioned that the life quality of a terminally ill patient, gets reduced a lot. Never being able to walk again, never being able to talk to your children again, never being able to go shopping, swimming, playing, driving etc. must be terrible for anyone. The whole situation only gets worse, if the patient himself, can see that his condition is worsening, and only time keeps his thoughts clear. A third very important point, is pain. If people see a deer, which had been hit by a car, and is in terrible pain, they will kill it, out of pitty. Why shouldn’t the same be allowed with humans, if pain reaches a level, where it is unbearable? For these people, who do not have the choice of active euthanasia, self-starvation is the only choice.
The doctors view on euthanasia, seems to be overall different. First of all, they have taken their wove, always to assist patients in prolonging their lives, and Euthanasia completely contradicts this. Their approach is “Where there is life, there is hope”, so even a person, who has 20 tubes stuck in them, feeding them, breathing for them, there is still life, and who knows? Maybe the future will bring the cure?
Euthanasia does mean “Good death”, but there can still be no conclusion to a question, whether Euthanasia should be accepted or not. Psychologists, philosophers, doctors and everybody else, will consider this question for all time. My opinion is, that anyone who is terminally ill, should have the choice, but to all rules there are exceptions, and to something as serious as this, there shouldn’t be.
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Euthanasia, Medical ethics, Legality of euthanasia, Voluntary euthanasia
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