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Taking a Closer Look at Euthanasia

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Euthanasia, coming from the Greek words “Eu” meaning good and “Thanatos” meaning death, means the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing a person to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. Euthanasia may have a simple definition but it is much more complex and very controversial in the medical field where there is a clash in ethical point of views. With today’s advance medical technology we are able to save many people from infections, injuries, and treat many diseases. But there are still many illnesses without cures or with many of the cure being extremely painful and agonizing for both the patient and their family. Why should these people have to die in such a painful way if they do not want to? There are two forms of euthanasia; one is active euthanasia which is performing and action that directly causes someone to die, to many this is known as “mercy killing”. The second is passive euthanasia which is allowing a person to die by not doing something that would prolong life. This form of euthanasia is more widely accepted because there is nothing the doctor is giving the patient, the cause of death is the disease itself. But why not give a patient, who has stopped treatment and is having a painful death, a life ending drug if the patient requests it? A person has the right to die in a way they want that is what autonomy is all about, the right to self-determination. Why should we prolong an agonizing death if we can make it faster? In Diane’s case it is clear that she never wanted the treatment for leukemia which is okay as long as a doctor counsels her to see if it’s not just the fear that is making her not want ... ... middle of paper ... ...s no other option and that it isn’t some other disease. Dr. Quill did the right thing in giving Diane the sleeping pills, in a situation like hers, having control seems like such an important thing. And a sense of happiness in an otherwise very depressing stage of life is essential for the patient and the family members. A doctor stop treatment at the request of the patient because he knows that the treatment is not working so why prolong the suffering of the patient and the family members, why if it’s acceptable for a doctor to stop treatment knowing that the patient will die, it’s not acceptable for him to give the patient pills that will give the patient a sense of control and have a more peaceful death. No doctor wants to see a patient of theirs die, but no human being can stand seeing a person suffering knowing that they can easily stop the suffering and pain.
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