Euthanasia In Today's Society

Euthanasia In Today's Society


Your wife of 50 years is suddenly diagnosed with a terminal disease. She lies
in a bed, motionless and unaware of her surroundings. The medication to ease
her pain has been wearing off. She just lies there in pain and unable to
communicate with the outside world. The doctors give her a month to live at the
most. What would you do? Would you let her sit in a hospital bed in agonizing
pain for the last few months of her life, or do you help to prematurely meet her
God? That is the topic of discussion in this paper: Euthanasia.

Let's start by defining the term. Euthanasia is also referred to as "mercy
killing." That is the killing of someone for their own good due to the pain and
suffering they are enduring. Euthanasia also includes situations where the
individual who is suffering makes the decision to die, a type of suicide
actually. In today's world there are two types of euthanasia that are most
common. The first are people who, perhaps because of serious illness or perhaps
for reasons unrelated to their illness, are extremely depressed and say that
they want to die (Johanson 1). Research has shown that the vast majority of
these people are just asking for sympathy and don't really want to die but
rather hear the calls of there loved ones begging them not to go on with the
procedure. They want the attempt to fail. The second type of euthanasia involve
people who are suffering from an illness that makes them unable to communicate
(Johanson 2). These type of people are those who are in comas, paralyzed, or
simply so sick that they cannot make meaningful sounds or other communication
(Johanson 2). This is a much more accepted type of euthanasia. Especially in
the Netherlands where Euthanasia is more common then the United States. There
are two sides to attack this issue from. One being from the view of the
Catholic Church and the other from a legal standpoint. Lets start with the
legal standpoint. Who has the right to tell us when or when cannot die? Many
feel that we have the right to do whatever we want to our bodies because they
are our personal property. It is our inalienable right to do whatever we like
to ourselves. They have a point since it all goes back to how we formed our
nation. We formed it on individual rights that we modeled after the ideas of
Rousseau before the French Revolution. Pro-euthanasia people also believe that
anyone should have the right to turn away medical treatment if he believes that
the side-effects, whether pain or the burden of being tied to some machine or
whatever, are worse then the disease (Johanson 1). Even if this means he will
live a shorter life. Pro-euthanasia activists also believe that if someone is
in there right mind and honestly wants to end his life to the pain he is
suffering he should have the right to do so. Some people stretch that belief
even farther in saying that we all have the inalienable right to kill ourselves
at anytime for any reason at all. That is when things can get out of control.
The Ohio Law Review went as far as publishing a "Model Aid-in-Dying Act" that
they believe all states should accept. It states that a child over the age of
six could request "aid-in-dying" and if his parents refused to agree with him,
an "Aid-in-Dying Board" could overrule them and grant him his wish (Johanson 1).
Sometimes the idea of euthanasia can be twisted into extremely evil ways. Some
euthanasia activists believe that the patient should be put to death because
they have become a burden on society. They decide that it would be more
beneficial to spend the money on something more useful. This is what it has
come to in the Netherlands where according to Rita Marker of the International
Anti-Euthanasia Task Force, euthanasia now accounts for 15% of the deaths in the
Netherlands (Johanson 3). It gets pretty scary in the Netherlands with case
stories like the following. A Dutch doctor diagnosed a woman with cancer. He
checked her to the hospital for treatment and the results were astonishing. The
treatments were already showing improvement. Well two days later the doctor
goes to pay the recovering patient a visit and found another patient in her bed.
When he asked about her, a nurse said that they needed the room so they decided
that she was one of the weakest and gave her "the injection" (Valente 328).
That is the form