Finally, the health care worker can take active measures to end the patient's life, such as by directly administering a lethal dose of a drug. This practice is called active euthanasia since the health care worker's action is the direct cause of the patient's death. Active euthanasia is the most controversial of the four options and is currently illegal in the United States. However, several right to die organizations are lobbying for the laws against active euthanasia to change. Two additional concepts are relevant to the discussion of euthanasia.
These include: passive euthanasia, active euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, and involuntary euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is the hastening of the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. Overdose of morphine is the most common form of passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia involves causing the death of a person through a direct action, in response to a request from that person. Physician assisted suicide occurs when a physician supplies information and/or the means of committing suicide to a person, so that they can easily terminate their own life.
The person who is murdered above is considered by the murderer as an adversary, an assaulter, or criminally culpable. But the individual in Euthanasia is neither of the three we mentioned (Gay-Williams, 288). As I defined earlier, euthanasia is taking someone’s life, either his/her own or of another person to add to that, the human being whose life is confiscated must be a person that is assumed to be experiencing a disease or injury from which regaining life cannot reasonably be anticipated. Ultimately, the attempt must be deliberate and intentional. Thus, euthanasia is purposely confiscating the life of a believed hopeless person, whether it is the person’s own or of a relative or friend, it is still euthanasia.
Doctors can perform euthanasia by giving a patient a lethal injection or by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs (“Euthanasia”). Active euthanasia is actually taking proactive measures to help a person die. Opposite active euthanasia which is defined as "allowing to die," and is used to describe a decision to withhold treatment, remove life support, etc. from a patient who may be in a coma or vegetative state (Issues and Controversies). The United States has long outlawed assisted suicide.
Euthanasia should only be used to punish criminals who have committed a crime that the punishment of their crime is the death penalty. Allowing euthanasia would weaken society’s respect for the sanctity of life. The human life should be valued no matter the person’s race, age, gender, religion or social status. A person does not have to make so... ... middle of paper ... ...ly grows as they do. Dr. Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society, said, “ If we can’t even control the actions of one doctor—Jack Kevorkian—when physician-assisted suicide is illegal, how can we expect to regulate the actions of thousands of doctors where physician-assisted suicide is legal?” He makes a valid point, if Dr. Kevorkian couldn’t be controlled, what difference does having regulations in place make?
Also euthanasia has two procedural classifications, passive and active. Passive euthanasia involves withdrawal of life-prolonging treatments, whereas active euthanasia as well-known as mercy killing involves the use of force or lethal substance are used to end a patient’s life. Active euthanasia include life-ending actions conducted by the patient or somebody else. In short: euthanasia involves killing the patient to eliminate the pain while end-of-life care involves eliminating the pain so that the patient can die painlessly, from natural causes. Euthanasia is very controversial in the sense, many argued that it is assisted suicide and could be a cover for outright murder.
On the other end, such assistance, or methods, are considered as a form of murder. As a “mercy killing”, people often inaccurately voice that human euthanasia is in a patient's best interests, disregarding the threats of: the slippery slope effect, no regulatory system, and sanctity of life infringement. A frequent argument against the legalization of human euthanasia is that it will begin a slippery slope towards involuntary (euthanizing of a patient without his or her consent) and non-voluntary (euthanizing of a patient not capable of giving consent) euthanasia . Society is only looking to legalize voluntary euthanasia, but the doors will open to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, two methods of death that could easily be written off as murder. The slippery slope argument claims that if an action, such as euthanasia, were to be permitted, then society will be led down the slippery slope, or be permitting other actions that are morally wrong, “in general form, it means that if we allow something relatively harmless today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted” (“Anti-euthanasia”).
This also means an ordinary human right such as nutrition or hydration cannot be with held to induce death. The injury or disease must be the cause of death not the act of the withdrawing the life support system. Active euthanasia is the direct and intentional killing of someone when given consent or consent can’t be given. Active euthanasia usually takes the form of a lethal dose of medication to ensure a painless death. Active euthanasia has been requested by people suffering from diseases and syndromes that have reduced their quality of life to a point at which that believe that death is a better option than living in their pained and often vegetative state.
Callahan first goes on to state that euthanasia is different from suicide in that it involves not only the right of a person to self-determination, but the transfer of the right to kill to the acting agent (presumably a physician) as well. This right, however, is temporary and restricted to killing the patient only. It is not clear why this temporary transfer makes euthanasia wrong, for if this is wrong, then letting a patient die (in the case where the patient already has the assistance of life-supporting equipment) is also wrong, if there is no distinction between killing and letting die. So, we must return to this argument after addressing Callahan's claims of a distinction between killing and allowing to die. The argument for the distinction is based on the cause of death.
It is one person doing something that directly kills another. If euthanasia was legalized it would only lead to abuse and erosion of health care for the most vulnerable people. Some activists say euthanasia would only be at a patient’s request and no one would be forced into dying. Although physical force is highly unlikely, emotional and psychological pressure could overpower someone feeling depressed or dependent on people. Much like in Brave New World when John, “the savage” kills himself because could not accept the life-style that the “super-society” wanted to impose on him.