Euthanasia: Mercy or Murder? Essay

Euthanasia: Mercy or Murder? Essay

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Terri Schiavo was a woman from Florida who suffered brain damage and was in a coma since the beginning of 1990. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, feeling guilty after seeing his wife in a hospital bed, succeeded in getting her feeding tube removed. Unknowing to the parents of Terry, they later fought a legal battle in court to make the doctors put the tube back in again but lost. In 2005, Schiavo died, two weeks after the feeding tube had been removed. Schiavo was a human being like each and every one of us in a situation that was uncontrollable, lying on a hospital bed. Her husband, knowing that he would probably not see his wife ever again, did the difficult task of ending her life, allowing her to pass on without dealing with any more misery. It is times like this that draws the question: is Euthanasia mercy, or murder?
Euthanasia, or “mercy killing”, is strategically ending an ill person’s life painlessly. In the past decades, there has been much discussion about this around the world. Some European countries, like Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, have certain divisions of euthanasia that are considered to be legal. In other countries where euthanasia is strictly forbidden, courts decide not to punish people who practice it. There are two main types of euthanasia: active euthanasia (doctors or nurses giving an ill patient medicine that will kill them), and passive euthanasia (refusing to give necessary treatment/meals.) In some cases, the life supporting machine is turned off and patients slowly succumb to their pain. Sometimes it is decided not to give them food any more. The main problem in all this is who decides if and when euthanasia should be carried out: the doctors, the family, or the patient. Sometimes the relat...

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... of an unbalanced thought process or a simple logical decision in mentally ill patients? What if the individual choosing assisted suicide as an option and the family wouldn’t agree? In some cases, it is not clear if an ill person really desires to die. Euthanasia, in my opinion, should only take place if a person really wants to commit or if they fully comprehend how ill they are.

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