Euthanasia/ Assisted Suicide: Mercy Or Murder? term paper 15491

Euthanasia term papers
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Assisted Suicide: Mercy or Murder?It is well recognized that there are ethical, moral and legal distinctions between assisted suicide and euthanasia. Like abortion or racism, euthanasia is a hot issue that is long debated. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. There are many factors driving the assisted suicide debate. Should people be free to decide for themselves if they wish to die? Does the patient have the right to make that decision for himself? In Oregon, euthanasia has been accepted morally and legally. Western laws have generally "considered the act of helping someone to die a form of homicide subject to legal sanctions. Medical ethics have been stuck in the middle of this heated debate, as physician assisted suicide is incompatible with the physicians role as a healer. For doctors, "the only alternative to letting the patient to die is to force treatment on them." Euthanasia is not a simple or single issue, but actually involves four distinct situations: voluntary active euthanasia, involuntary active euthanasia, voluntary passive euthanasia, and involuntary passive euthanasia. This paper will concentrate on voluntary active euthanasia, particularly assisted suicide. I think the problem with assisted suicide is that many people are unnecessarily losing their lives, therefore assisted suicide should be illegal.For the purpose of discussion, it is critical to define terms. Euthanasia "also mercy killing", is the "practice of ending life so as to release and individual from incurable disease or intolerable suffering." Assisted suicide "the provision of assistance (medication, sleeping pills, lethal injection, etc) with the intent that the patient will use these agents to commit suicide", this can be done by a physician, family member, or some other person. Many terminally ill patients, who encourage assisted suicide, feel that the right to choose assisted suicide should be based on freedom of choice, such as the right to get married or have an abortion. Every person does deserve the right to make choices for themselves. "People have an interest in making important decisions about their lives in accordance with their own conception of how they want their lives to go." Perhaps if the care of these patients becomes more efficient, the patients would not feel like such a burden to society. The patients could possibly have less subjective thinking about suicide. Some terminally ill also feel that when they are faced with death they want to be involved in the decision of how their death will come about. The debate of this particular issue is will the patient be able to make a rational decision, will their state of mind (for example, are they depressed) allow them to make a clear judgement. Is the dying person able to justify their request for death? It is difficult to find evidence to determine if the patient is being rational or irrational. I do not believe that suffering is good in itself. The terminally ill should be spared pain as far as possible. This includes the power of drugs. Much more can be done, and should be done to eliminate the pain of those who are dying. Given these considerations it is urged that assisted suicide is unnecessary. At the core of this issue, What does the Bible say? If murder and suicide were wrong, would assisted suicide be wrong? The first commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is the most basic of God-orientated commandments. Before constructing a hierarchy of human value, we must consider, what is God's opinion? In his eyes, are people's lives, no matter how short or difficult is life worth living? Principles that are important in this argument are value of human life, death, pain and pain relief, and compassion and mercy. Though we are not directly told God's view of the whole issue, it is obvious that any form of euthanasia is condemned in the Bible. It comes down to the value of human life, and as a Creator and Sovereign, God alone has the ultimate prerogative of giving and taking human life. The worth of each human being is determined by its intrinsic God-given nature, the fact that it is created by him and in his image. Unfortunately today, we live in a somewhat secular society. Not everyone believes in God, therefore if you do not believe in God, this argument is irrelevant. With this in mind, remember that death is still a universal experience of mankind. To me every person is an image and likeness of God, entrusted by God with the gift of life, and sustained into being by the action of God. In view of these principles we have examined regarding God's sovereignty over life and death, however, the relief of pain could never justify actively taking a human life. Assisted suicide is wrong because it infringes on clear biblical principles. Life is a valuable gift that has been bestowed on all living creatures we must respect it and be thankful. To think that we should be able to write the script of our whole life is to deny God's commandment: "I am the Lord your God." In birth and in death we follow the Lord. To follow the crucified Lord means give us trustfully into God's hands. After all God freely accepted a death that he did not choose, and he showed us the path to life. It is important to recognize that if pain is controlled, as it can be in virtually all cases, very few terminally ill people ask to be put to death. The patients benefit by having a shorter pain-free life rather than a longer, even more painful life. "The greater good for the patient is relief of pain, and the lesser evil is loss of life" , "a person has worth in and of itself and is not merely a means to an overall balance of others goods over evils in the person's life." To me a request for assisted suicide is a cry for help, a call for assistance to positive alternatives as solutions for very real problems. Modern medicine has the ability to control pain, and should be used to help ease the pain of a dying patient. Helping a patient kill themselves is to claim that we are a law unto ourselves, and that every possible choice is good as long as we choose it. It is to consecrate "choice" and to make it God. There are some life decisions that are not ours to make. A wise man once told me, life is not always fair, and what appears to be fairer is not always right, therefore one should protect the soul. That includes living the life that God has chosen for us, and accepting our natural death. While it is not for me to judge, if it were my life I would feel obligated to with these factors, even if they were somewhat pragmatic, in my decision. We must not simply act on our subjective feelings of what seems to be merciful and what does not. It is important to be objective, after all we are dealing with people's lives. References"Euthanasia" Microsoft ® Encarta ® 98 Encyclopedia. 1993-1997 Microsoft Corporation."Euthanasia, Voluntary" Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 1996 Robert Young La Trobe University."Voluntary Active Euthanasia" D. Brock. Hastings Center Report 22. No. 2(1993) pg.10-22."A Right to Choose Death?" F. M. Kamm. Boston Review. 1993-1998."Causing Death or allowing to die? Develops in the Law" Pamela R. Ferguson. University of Dundee Scotland. 1997 pg. 368-372."A Rational Approach to Rational Suicide" Joseph Richman, Ph.D, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Vol 22, 1992. The American Association of Suicidology."The Holy Bible"By Tanya L. Vissia

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