It was only after a year that the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected the lower court’s decision and allowed the father to decide whether or not Karen would be removed from the machine. However, when she finally was taken off the respirator, she breathed on her own. Karen lived the remainder of her life in comatose and fed through a tube until she died of pneumonia at thirty-one years of age. (Karen Ann Quinlan Case and the Right to Die) It is for cases such as these that euthanasia should be made legal. After all, Karen never did wake up, and her life in the vegetable state was artificially extended for a decade, only dying due to an illness at the end.
History of Euthanasia in America 1973- The American Medical Association issues the Patient Bill of Rights. The groundbreaking document allows patients to refuse medical treatment. 1976- The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan, who has been in a tranquilizer-and-alcohol-induced coma for a year, can remove her respirator. She dies nine years later. 1979- Jo Roman, a New York artist dying of cancer, makes a videotape, telling her friends and family she intends to end her life.
You and only you, as the patient, should be able to determine when the suffering should stop. There was a case in Texas regarding a 19-month old child. She fell into her family’s pool but was able to be revived. Unfortunately, she was without oxygen for over an hour and this caused her to be blind, deaf and unable to move. Ultimately, the family came to the conclusion that they couldn’t allow her to live like this and the hospital’s ethics committee agreed.
The "centerpiece" of the campaign to pass Measure 16 was a 60-second television ad featuring Patty A. Rosen (head of the Bend, OR chapter of the Hemlock Society and a former nurse practitioner). In it, Rosen urged the public to "Vote yes on 16" and gave an emotional personal testimonial to the illusion of slipping away peacefully after taking pills: "I am a criminal. My 25-year-old daughter, Jody, was dying of bone cancer. The pain was so great that she couldn't bear to be touched, and drugs didn't help. Jody had a few weeks to live when she decided she wanted to end her life.
In the following, we will discuss euthanasia from a structural functionalist perspective. Recently, a family decided to end treatment for their 21 month old baby girl in the only “humane way” possible: nutrition withdrawal (Bever, 2014). In September, 19-month old Natalie Newton wandered into the family’s pool unsupervised by her parents. When she was found, Natalie was blue in the face from lack of oxygen and immediately rushed to the hospital. Though they were able to revive her, doctors informed the family that Natalie would not live; she was deaf, blind, unable to move and ultimately brain dead from being withdrawn from oxygen for as long as she had been.
During the month of March in the year 1998, a women dying of breast cancer in Oregon asked her physician to prescribe a drug that would allow her to end her life. The doctor, although apprehensive, agreed to her request, not wanting to cause her anymore pain and suffering as she slowly lost bits and pieces of her life from the disease. Later that month, after saying her goodbyes, she took the medication. With that action alone, she became the first person in the United States to legally commit suicide with the aid of a physician. This has become known as Euthanasia, or when doctors honor a patient’s voluntary request for a lethal dose of medication, which the patient later administers to him or herself to end their life.
My mom told her to make a wish. The poor old woman said, ‘I wish that I could go to sleep and never wake up.’” This quote is from one of my co-workers. We had a lengthy conversation about the topic of assisted suicide and the birth of this research topic. In our current society, people are living longer than ever before. Medical advances have made it possible for patients to fight against diseases that would have ended their life in the past.
The doctor told my family that my grandmother had become septic which forced a second surgery and a move to the intensive care unit (ICU) for three weeks, where she had to be put on life support. Being septic causes all your organs to not to function properly or at all. The most frustrating part of this happening was not knowing why it happened and no one taking responsibility for it. After many days, my grandmother was still in the hospital getting worse. My aunts and my mom never left her side.
After a week, she felt something was wrong with her body and she turned up pregnant with her fifth child. Her cousins, Sadie and Margaret, told her that the pain probably had something to do with the baby. “However, Henrietta said that it was not, because the knot is there before the baby” (Skloot 36). After her son was born, Henrietta told her husband, David Lack, to bring her to the doctor because she was bleeding in her vagina when it was not her time. They went to a clinic at Johns Hopkins hospital.
I decided that I couldn’t handle something like taking care of another human being by myself, so a few weeks after thinking about it, I got an abortion.” Jon sat there, just looking at her. She could have easily called him and told him the situation, since he would have gladly went back to her, just to take care of the baby. Then again, he didn’t expect her to know that with his attitude towards children at that time. “Alright, I understand,” he said, rising from the chair. He needed to leave to think about everything by himself.