Essay PreviewMore ↓
Playing God: A Role That Shouldn't Be Cast
All humans will die. Approximately 2,155,000 people from the United States will die in one year. In the United States, during the year of 1989, 34% of all deaths were caused by heart disease, 23% caused by cancer, 6% by strokes, and 2.2% by accidents involving motor vehicles. In that same year, 5.5% of the deaths were caused by medical negligence and suicide (Leading causes). This does not take into consideration the number of people who were killed by assisted suicide and euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is described as the intentional discontinuation, by the patient's physician, of vital treatment that could prolong the person's life. Assisted suicide occurs when a health care worker provides a patient with tools and/or medication that will help the patient kill him or herself, without the direct intervention of the care provider. Active euthanasia takes place when the doctor is responsible for the killing of the patient; for example, when the doctor administers a lethal injection (Schofield, 25). Active euthanasia is illegal in the United States. Only three states have legalized assisted suicide and only Oregon permits physician-assisted suicide. Thirty-five states, including Colorado, have statutes criminalizing assisted suicide and nine states criminalize assisted suicide through common law (Assisted suicide laws). In addition to active and passive euthanasia there are three other categories of euthanasia: voluntary, nonvoluntary, and involuntary. Voluntary, there is written or spoken consent from the patient; nonvoluntary, the patient can not voice his or her opinion because of unconsciousness or comatose; and involuntary, which goes against the wishes of the patient, and constitutes murder (Schofield, 26). Assisted suicide and euthanasia, in any form, are murder.
"People are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to them" (Vaticana, 550). To decide if euthanasia is wrong, one must first decide whom life belongs to. The Bible says, "In God's hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10). Life belongs to God and since God gave life to the human race, God should decide when it is time to take life. Also, the fifth commandment says, "Thou shall not kill." Assisted suicide and euthanasia disobey this commandment.
Supporters of euthanasia argue that the First Amendment "forbids the establishment of religion" and therefore one can't say life belongs to God. However, in the case of Bowers versus Hardwick in 1986, the Supreme Court ruled "that citizens in a democracy may vote away individual rights, even if that vote is based ultimately on nothing but religious faith" (Bowden).
How to Cite this Page
"Free Essay on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia - Playing God." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Oct 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Euthanasia refers to the exercise of deliberately ending the life of a patient suffering from a chronic and excruciating disease or in an unalterable coma. Euthanasia, infanticide and suicide were practiced in the 5th century up to the 1st century before Christ. Euthanasia comes from the Greek words, “Eu” as in good and “Thanatosis” as in death. Euthanasia is sometimes addressed as “assisted suicide”. Some countries have adapted euthanasia as a legal death sentence to one’s self such as Belgium, and Luxembour; whereas in other countries it is strictly forbidden.... [tags: Argument Against Assisted Suicide]
1107 words (3.2 pages)
- Increasingly, in the courts and the media and in conversation, we are hearing about euthanasia and the so-called "right to die." It's time we all are fully informed about what is going on, and what the appropriate response should be. Euthanasia is not a future problem. It is a present problem. It is happening now and becoming increasingly accepted. And we are asleep, not realizing that the road we are on will lead to the massive elimination of the elderly and "incompetent," and anyone else considered to be a burden to society.... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
2066 words (5.9 pages)
- The Need for Physician Assisted Suicide Man is born with death in his hand. We all will die. We may be able to postpone death but we cannot avoid it. We all die of something, somewhere, somehow. Although we cannot avoid death, we can control the death caused by a terminal illness. We can determine how, when, where, and with whom we die. Right now at this time, there are over 10,000 patients in the United States that are in a permanent vegetative state. Also there are thousands of handicapped infants born each year.... [tags: Free Euthanasia Essay]
1521 words (4.3 pages)
- “If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society.” This thought-provoking quote by Joni Eareckson Tada conveys a sense of obligation held by society to take up the roles of caretakers for the ones that cannot aid their own health. In the relativity of physician-assisted suicide, the word “care” in the previous statement is defined by helping those in need, in this case, pertaining to health issues with a potentially terminal outcome.... [tags: euthanasia, the right to die]
2023 words (5.8 pages)
- Euthanasia is defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” There are several different types of euthanasia in existence today. Active euthanasia is specifically causing a person to die by certain means, such as a drug injection of a lethal dose. Passive euthanasia is intentionally letting a person die by withholding means of life support, such as a feeding tube or ventilator.... [tags: Euthanasia Essays]
1959 words (5.6 pages)
- The majority of people in the world probably don’t like to think about their own death, for good reasons I’d imagine. As adults, we are aware that we’ll one day have to face our own mortality. Nobody lives forever. For millions of people diagnosed with terminal illnesses each year, facing your mortality can come much sooner than expected. These people struggle to accept the diagnosis they have been given, many fight their illness in whichever ways they can for as long as possible, and likely suffer with much pain -- physically, emotionally, and mentally.... [tags: euthanasia, terminal illnesses, medical assistance]
1356 words (3.9 pages)
- Euthanasia - Let Them Die. Euthanasia is one of society's most widely and hotly debated moral issues. It has pained and exhausted the courts for entirely too long, questioning the ethics and morality of the issue. It is a never-ending loop that by no means considers our right, or the victim's right, to freedom. It has pierced the pocket books of American taxpayers extensively and should be put to rest with only this statement. Let them die. I believe that euthanasia is only debated and kept on the political agenda to keep the courts busy, thereby ensuring the security of political pocket books.... [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
1567 words (4.5 pages)
- Dr. Braddock and Dr. Tonelli use Aristotelian rhetoric in their article titled, “Physician Aid-in-Dying: Ethical Topic in Medicine.” The authors provide examples of logos by providing statistics about physician assisted suicide. In the article you will find pathos that will offer different emotions within the topic. These authors have many ethos or many years of credentials within the medical field. In this article, Dr. Braddock and Dr. Tonelli explain the difference between physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.... [tags: Moral Issues]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- When it comes to the issues of dying by abortion, euthanasia or the death penalty society views each issue passionately. As we look at the issues and as the circumstances change, society will dictate how it reacts. When it comes to abortion there are two complex opposing groups, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, each group think that their position is the right position. The pro-lifers argues that abortion is not acceptable, because the fetus a viable human being, having a distinctive life of its own, to have an abortion is deliberately taking a life and that is murder.... [tags: Abortion, Euthanasia, Death Penalty]
1378 words (3.9 pages)
- Euthanasia, People should be able to take there own lives The beliefs and views of our country are hypocritical and unjust. As we grow from a young child to a mature adult, we are taught many things such as that killing another human being is wrong, it is against the law and goes against most people's religious beliefs. Yet, there are some instances when this rule does not seem to apply. If someone kills another in self-defense it is seen as an act of bravery, if a soldier kills an enemy in war it is seen as courageous and honorable.... [tags: essays research papers]
1391 words (4 pages)
Legalization of voluntary euthanasia could mean legalization of nonvoluntary euthanasia and possibly of involuntary euthanasia. Ex-governor of Colorado Richard Lamm said that the "terminally ill elderly have a duty to die and get out of the way" (Johansen). This is a dangerous attitude to have. When the value of the human life is lost and when family, doctors, and society start to judge the value of a person's life, then the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is invalid. Terminally ill people who are seeking euthanasia as a solution to their problems should not be encouraged to end their life but rather to focus on the small blessings of it. Some families consider ill relatives as an added pressure. One theologian notes, "There is a growing tendency to view death as good and life itself as a burden," (Low, 41).
Many people who ask to be euthanized are under the influence of depression. Depression is treatable and reversible, death is not. In one study of people who wanted to commit suicide, 24% wanted to die because of a terminal illness. 100% of the patients with terminal illness had clinical depression. Patients with clinical depression are not fully capable of coming to a rational conclusion about their death, because their mind is clouded with mixed emotions (Key points).
People in favor of assisted suicide and euthanasia defend the patients by saying they are depressed because of their illness. Some families feel like the patient deserves help so he or she can be put out of their misery. The terminally ill and depressed need to be cared for by their loved ones. In a study done one year after the law allowing physician-assisted suicide in Oregon was passed, suicide patients "were several times more likely to be divorced or never married" (Shapiro, 56). The absence of a supportive care giver could have made the significant difference between life or death for these patients.
All doctors are required to take the Hippocratic Oath before they can practice medicine. By this they swear to "please no one will they prescribe a deadly drug, nor give advice which may cause death," and they will always "prescribe regimen for the good of their patients" (Chung). If doctors swear they will at all times work their hardest to do good for their patients; and some doctors are euthanizing their patients, then people begin to be afraid to trust their doctors. Without a strong trust between the patient and the doctor, the entire medical practice can not perform to its highest ability.
Some who believe euthanasia and assisted suicide are beneficial say that the Hippocratic Oath should be modified so that the doctors can euthanize their patients at their request (Schofield, 26). Until, however, there is a change to the Hippocratic Oath, doctors must stand by their word, because that is all the patients have to go on.
Proponents of euthanasia say that people want to die because they fear the pain that will accompany their illness. They also say pain is incurable, because patients only get addicted to their pain medication. However, only one person, in an Oregon study, used fear of pain as their reason for wanting suicide (Shapiro, 56). There is always a chance of an incorrect diagnosis or the discovery of a treatment which will allow partial or complete recovery. If a person is seeking to kill him or herself through a doctor, maybe the patient should be finding a doctor more qualified at alleviating pain rather than a doctor who is willing to assist suicide.
There are many factors which confirm that assisted suicide and euthanasia are murderous acts. The value of life should be determined by the individual, but death should occur naturally and not be imposed. "Killing, whether it be called 'aid-in-dying' or any other name, is still killing and no law can make it right" (Introduction, 13).
"Assisted Suicide Laws State By State." November 17, 1999. [Online.] Available: http://www.euthanasia.com/bystate.html
Bowden, Thomas A. November 17, 1999. "Assisted Suicide: A Moral Right." MediaLink. [Online.] Available: http://aynrand.org/ medialink/suicide.html
Chung, Andrew B. November 11, 1999. "The Hippocratic Oath." [Online.] Available: http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~achung /hippocrates.html
"Introduction." Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1989.
Johansen, Jay. November 11, 1999. "Euthanasia: A Case of Individual Liberty?." [Online.] Available: http://law.about.com/ medianews/law//gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.ohiolife.org/euth/liberty.htm
"Key Points for Debating Assisted Suicide." November 8, 1999. [Online.] Available: http://www.euthanasia.com/debate.html
"Leading Causes of Death in the United States." November 17, 1999. [Online.] Available: http://amfire.com/afistatistics/deaths2.html
Low, Charlotte. "The Right To Die Is Unethical." Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1989.
Schofield, Joyce Ann. "Euthanasia is Unethical." Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1989.
Shapiro, Joseph P. "Casting a Cold Eye on 'Death With Dignity': Oregon Studies Year 1 of a Benchmark Law." U.S. News and World Report. March 1, 1999.
Vaticana, Libreria Editrice. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Urbi et Orbi Communications, 1994.