Bob Dent, who lives in Darwin, Australia, was the first person to ever participate in euthanasia. He was able to do this because of the Terminally Ill Act, which had become law in the northern territory of Australia on July 1st, 1996 (Fraser and Walter). Bob’s case is important because of he was the first to go through with it and his attitude towards it. He had more than a few words to say regarding the topic. He pleaded that this compassionate legislation should be respected, he also added that he was very grateful for being able to die with dignity and compassion (Fraser and Walter). He then went on to explain why he was choosing to be euthanized.
He described about being in pain and while being in pain, he would watch his wife suffer to take care of him. He didn’t want to see her suffer. He also included that the state and the church are in two separate categories. He said that no one because of their religion could make him abide to their rules until a doctor decides he’s had an enough and increases his pain medication, which was morphine, until he dies (Fraser and Walter).
In October 2015, governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed the law legalizing euthanasia in California. Governor Brown legalized this because of how he would feel if he was dying and doesn’t want to deny the others right to do that (Brooker). People who oppose it are usually people believe it is religiously wrong or that it shouldn’t be a option because of hospice care, which gives doctors more power and is not in the best interests of the patient. There are two types of euthanasia, active and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia when death is brought by an act ( for ex: lethal injection) (BBC). passive euthanasia is when death brought on by an emission ( for ex: withholding treatment) (BBC).
My thesis is that euthanasia should be legal. Euthanasia allows terminally ill patients die with dignity. The word euthanasia in itself means in greek, good death. So why should someone who wants a good death be denied of one, when there’s a law allowing it. Euthanasia is an act of putting people who are in pain with no cure insight to death without pain (Goel). Most people disagree with euthanasia because they believe death should be natural occurence in life without help (Goel). Imagine someone with creutzfeldt jakob disease, where the symptoms are: progressive dementia,personality changes, problems with muscle coordination, depression, difficulty speaking and swallowing and insomnia, which could eventually lead to: heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure etc (Mayo clinic).
There is no cure insight for this disease. Patients who have this disease have at least a year plus before they meet their demise. Though, before that point, they are usually in a coma. This condition is very deadly with 90% dying the first year and 10% being lucky enough to see two years (National institute of disorders and stroke). Dying with this disease, you will basically be deteriorating within yourself. Euthanasia would allow you to die maybe before reach the point where you can barely function. They would be able to still talk to their family members before they forget who they are.
Statistics mainly show that most cases do in fact have to do with how they feel and about how they want their final moments to be. Euthanasia does not oppose the hippocratic oath. The hippocratic oath is actually not the authentic made oath made by hippocrates to physicians. This oath was actually altered into a modern version. The hippocratic oath even condemns using the knife which we do even today for surgeries and it even today saves lives (Strauss). The oath also advises physicians to “help the sick” which can be taken as doing what the patient and even the doctor want. In the case of Dr. Robert Olivera, who’s twenty five year old daughter had battles leukemia for seventeen years and had died during the battle with that disease (Aguilera).
Robert tells that, while Emily was still alive, she had asked at least twice to end her life and then goes on to say how he never reacted to it because assisted suicide was illegal then (Aguilera). Once after Emily had another episode, where she was lucid and competent, she asked for enough sleeping pills for her to sleep permanently and asked this question once more before she died. He says that if he knew it was legal, he would have found a physician to do it since he, her father, wouldn’t be able to euthanize his own child. Also he makes a big point about how prolonging death is not helping the patient and how it’s helping people. He also said that it could have helped his daughter who was also blind and needed to be cared for (Aguilera).
Also the term “do not harm” shouldn’t even be applied in the situation because prolonging a death while having the patient request repeatedly to end their suffering (Strauss). If we actually abided by all the rules the Hippocratic oath applies physicians would not even partake in carrying out abortion, which is very legal in many countries. Even though the Hippocratic oath is one of the big reasons why euthanasia should not be, we still do some of the things the oath forbids to do. Euthanasia is properly regulated and not just anyone can partake in it. In Oregon, in order to partake in euthanasia, you have to apply to the following: patient must be eighteen years old and above. The patient must live in Oregon. The patient have a fifteen days span between the first and last request. The patient must be able to administer lethal medication. The patient must be really ill with a span of six months left.
Prognosis must be confirmed by two physicians. Both physicians must confirm that the patient has no medical conditions that mess with their judgement. Both physicians must confirm that the patient can make this decision. The patient must make two requests, one oral and one written. At least 30% die before the process is actually carried out (BBC). Though some hospice care facilities do not follow these regulations. My opponent believes that there is a way to give terminally ill patients a life worth living. This way is through hospice care.
However, hospice care just prolongs their suffering and there is possible evidence showing that people are killed against their will in this care. In December of 2000, a group of sisters reported that their father was involuntarily euthanized. They described how he was given a medication that he was allergic to and his other was withdrawn from him. Also, food and water was denied to him while he was in a coma. (Hospice). The hospice care also kept giving him morphine against his will (Hospice). There were other things the hospice care did that were unethical and were against his will. In another case in October of 2010, a lady was put into hospice care because her children could no longer afford the pay of nursing care. She would be forcefully given morphine against her will, which would eventually kill her.
Overall, having hospice care might be a good option in some cases but could potentially be a horrible option. In conclusion, euthanasia should be legal. Terminally ill patients should be given the right to choose how they want to end their life. Giving the right to euthanize is only a choice, nobody is obliged to make. Though most people who do get euthanized do not end their life months before but actually weeks before.
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