Euthansia… Life or Death?

WEEK 5 – Euthansia – Life or death

 I will start this post by saying, WOW!…What a topic!

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Euthansia is a broad topic that I wont even allow myself to choose any sides. This topic is filled with pros and cons depending on how you look and it and the person that you are. Euthansia may seem like the best solution for some people but others may think it’s a sin… in a world of suffering, what do you decide?

 Firstly, I will look at Euthansia from a religious perspective. I found an interesting article presenting the religious perspective as well http://www.legatusmagazine.org/is-euthanasia-the-same-as-murder/. Euthansia – Physician assisted suicide, already tells me that it goes against my beliefs and what is ethical to me. I am a Christian lady and I see it as who gives someone the right to take someone else’s life besides “God” himself? Who is given the power over someone’s life just to end their suffering? Without stepping on too many toes I would say no one should be given the right to take a life. If I define the word murder – it is the unlawful killing of another human being, would an argument not be made that Euthansia is just another fancy name to make murder sound acceptable only because it is done by a professional without malicious intent? If murder is illegal in the first place, and Euthansia being s type of murder as someone is actually killing another person, should it not remain illegal too? But yet in more and more places in the world is it becoming legal… in Switzerland and 3 states in America to be exact.  To mention a verse from the bible “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” To quote another verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” These verses stated that only God controls your life. A Video to support the religious perspective http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn9NTe-rBg0&feature=player_detailpage

 An in between thought…. Do you think the pros outweigh the cons regarding Euthansia?

 Secondly, I will look at Euthansia from the suffering individuals and their families perspective. Like in the Tonys article…  He is suffering with locked-in syndrome and actually wishes to have a physician assisted suicide and his family want this for him as well. Now I question, is all the effort they went through, court cases, lawyers, etc really worth it? Basically the only reason why he wants to die is more as a result of how his feeling… his emotions to be exact. He feels that he doesn’t want to live if he has to be a “vegetable” and I think his family wants support him whole time or maybe even because of the huge burden it is to look after him. Living and looking after a loved one with a terminal illness is emotionally draining. But then again, once Tony is actually gone, how will his family feel? Everybody grieves differently… will his family not resent themselves one day for actually choosing to let him go the Euthansia route? Some family will say “sometimes what is usually an act of evil is an actually act of love”. Who can agree with this? I read a quote by Pamela Bone that could maybe some up how Tony is feeling “I’m not afraid of being dead. I’m just afraid of what I might have to go through to get there.”As I said before, sometimes it all comes down to feelings and emotions.

Thirdly, I thought to look at Euthansia from financial and medical perspective. Why stay alive only accumulating thousands of rands in medical expenses when you know have a terminal illness and that you going to die anyway? What if you don’t have money and are unable to pay for all your medical expenses then why prolong your suffering? A question should be stated – must we live as long as modern medicine enables us to or die as a result of its hand? I read an article reporting one case where a person was wrongly diagnosed with a terminal illness and went for Euthansia only for doctors to then later find out that they had wrongly diagnosed him but it was too late.

 Another thought, What is worse… Letting that person suffer or offer to end their suffering so they can have peace? Yes, you may say you won’t kill anyone but would much rather then watch them die? ….mmm I think that is the real dilemma isn’t it? But once you in the profession of Euthansia I guess the decision is not up to you but rather on the people who are coming to you… it is their free will that they have exercised … their terminally ill “free will”. In the end, I believe that they cannot be allowed to make that decision as it is only because they think they have nothing left that they want to take that route.

 Ethical views on Euthansia http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/overview/problems.shtml

 In conclusion, I believe we have control over our bodies and the free will to decide what we want to do with our bodies. God has given us many talents and attributes that have advanced medicine and life saving procedures. We as health professionals should provide a better quality of life for our patients. We should promote life… NOT DEATH.

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2 thoughts on “Euthansia… Life or Death?

  1. Hi Theoca. Thanks for a really interesting look at the topic from a few perspectives. I have a few questions that I hope will stimulate you to continue thinking about this topic:
    1. If God decides who lives and who dies, then why do we treat children with Cystic Fibrosis to prolong their life? Why do we do cardiac surgery to prevent heart attacks? Surely if it was only up to God, then human beings should just stand back and allow everyone to die naturally, regardless of whether we have the means to save their lives.
    2. You ask, “What about Tony’s family when he’s gone”. But what about Tony while he’s alive? Should he be kept alive in misery and suffering so that they can feel better about their lives?

    Thanks again for a well thought-through post. I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. Hi Michael
    Thank you for stimulating my thinking because you definitely did that. When planning to type this post i really did not want to take the religious route but i felt the need to look at Euthansia from different aspects.
    Regards to why i think God decides who lives and dies is true is because i have faith and belief in my God and how he creates things to benefit us and takes away things to benefit us as well. He has equipped us with knowledge and means to save lives and these procedures can in a sense increase peoples faith when they believe that these procedures work and thank God in the end that they have. It may not always work, there are diseases that are incurable, but sometimes you have to believe that there is divine intention somewhere in life.
    Secondly, yes Tony may be suffering, and although it being more emotional than physical pain, having family that love him should be able to console him. Its tough to answer this but to me the effect of physical disabilities on the individual and their families are more an emotional pain and sadness in the end.

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