The Faults in Dr. Death: The Right to Die with Dignity Essay

The Faults in Dr. Death: The Right to Die with Dignity Essay

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Jack Kevorkian was a doctor who assisted terminally ill patients to commit suicide. He believed that they had the right to die in an appropriate way; to die with dignity. He therefore invented a machine (called thanatron—a Greek word for death machine) which could take away his patients’ lives painlessly and efficiently, all they had to do was to push a button and their lives would be ended by either deadly injection or carbon monoxide poisoning. There had been at least one hundred patients who tried and died in this method. Dr. Kevorkian was charged several times with murder in these deaths. Lucky for him, a judge dismissed one of his charges because there was no evidence of murder. Jury did not find him guilty either. Nevertheless, he received numerous critics from medical professionals and media. Some people considered him as a hero while others saw him as an evil person. Not few questioned his intention; did he really care about ending his patients’ sufferings? Now that the “Dr. Death” died, all of this debate probably doesn’t matter anymore. But if it was up to me, I would most definitely not going to let him go with this easily because the way I see it, what he did was not right.
Firstly, Dr. Jack Kevorkian violated his oath as a doctor. Students of medical school are normally sworn an oath upon graduating. Among the oath is the sentence “I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel”. Whatever fluids contained in the injection, if it was a lethal injection, the fluids is considered as “deadly medicine”. Even if it isn’t, he would still have contravened his pledge by offering (“suggest”) death as a way out. Other clause within the oath that he dishonored was “never do harm to anyone”. Thoug...


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... one has the right to take away lives, He’s God. This being said, supporting the idea of “the right to die” cannot be justified, nor can assisting suicides.
Despite the fact that Jack Kevorkian wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, doesn’t mean what he did was right. He had broken his words of honor as a doctor by creating a killing machine and let, counseled even, people to use it. Plunging his desperate and hopeless patients to doom by supporting the idea “to die with dignity”, whereas he himself when confronted with such position refused to die that way. Moreover, justifying suicide under any circumstances is inevitably not right. For these reasons, I therefore disagree with what Dr. Jack Kevorkian had done.




Works Cited

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/hippocratic-oath-today.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/04/us/04kevorkian.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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